Peru Police Search for Helicopter Missing After Crossing Andes

Peruvian police are searching for a helicopter and 12 foreign passengers that went missing in the southern Andes yesterday.

The helicopter left the jungle town of Mazuco in the evening carrying South Koreans and Austrian passengers and disappeared as it crossed the Andes to reach the highland city of Cuzco, police general Hector Dulanto told state television channel TV Peru.

The helicopter may have made an emergency landing in the area of Hualla Hualla, located at more than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) above sea level, Dulanto said. It isn’t known whether the passengers are tourists or businessmen, he said. The pilot and a second crewmember were Peruvian, TV Peru said on its website without saying where it obtained the information.

The helicopter belonged to Helicopteros del Cusco SA, which flies tourists to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and transports personnel and cargo for the mining and oil and gas industry, according to its website.

Police are heading to the area by land as bad weather prevents a search by air, according to Lima-based Radio Programas.

To contact the reporters on this story: John Quigley in Lima at jquigley8@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.

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