6 Dead as Helicopter Crashes off Spain's Canary Islands

A helicopter crashed Saturday into the sea off the northeastern coast of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing all six people on board, the Interior Ministry said.

A fisherman reported the crash Saturday morning, about 2.5 miles off the heavily wooded coast of Anaga, ministry official Jose Segura said. The cause was not immediately clear.

The U.S.-built Sikorsky S-61N had been chartered by the Environment Ministry, and the pilot was one of Spain's most experienced, he said.

Four bodies — two women and two men — have been recovered, Segura said.

The bodies of pilot Joaquin Ortiz de Zarate, a descendant of 19th century Spanish novelist Benito Perez Galdos, and co-pilot Antonio Ruiz Lacasa were trapped in the main body of the aircraft at the bottom of the sea, about 2,296 feet below, Development Ministry official Antonio Padron said.

The tail section was recovered and towed to port at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, he said.