Bodies seen near Antarctic helicopter wreck: officials

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Searchers spotted three bodies near the wreckage of a helicopter which crashed in Antarctica leaving four Frenchmen missing, French officials said on Friday.

An Australian air force plane "reported observing three bodies in the crash zone", TAAF, the state authority that administers southern French overseas territories including parts of the Antarctic, said in a statement.

"The teams report seeing debris scattered over 150 metres (165 yards), which indicates a strong impact with the ground," TAAF said, citing Australian search teams.

The AS350 Squirrel helicopter, which went missing late Thursday, was carrying the pilot, a mechanic and two staff from Dumont d'Urville research base in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.

© 2010 AFP

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