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Two Killed, One Missing In Offshore Crash

January 6, 1986

GRAND ISLE, La. (AP) _ A helicopter taking workers to and from an offshore oil rig flipped on its side, apparently after its rotor blades hit the drilling rig in 45 mph wind, killing two men and leaving another missing, officials said.

Five men were injured in the accident Sunday, including the two aboard the helicopter, officials said.

One man was missing but the Coast Guard suspended its search after the crews of three helicopters were unable to find a trace of the man Sunday, Coast Guard Petty Officer Cuck Kalmbach said today.

The Sikorsky chopper had landed on the derrick barge about 30 miles south of Grand Isle, said Dave Smith, vice president of operations for Air Logistics Helicopters in Lafayette, owner of the chopper.

″It toppled during the process of disembarking passengers. It had already landed, but its blades apparently struck the side,″ Smith said.

Officials said wind was blowing at 45 mph at the time.

Ken Salzer, a spokesman for McDermott Inc.’s marine construction division, identified the dead as employees of his company: Richard Seward, 43, of Gretna, and Billy R. Jones, 36, of New Orleans.

He said both were struck by the rotor blades.

Salzer identified the missing man as Johhny P. Williams, 27, of Clovis, N.M., also a McDermott employee.

Chuck Olivier, administrator at the Southeastern Louisiana Medical Center, said two of the injured men were admitted, one with a broken pelvis and another with cuts and scrapes. He said the other three were treated and released.

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