Ukraine helicopter 'may have been human smuggling'

map showing Slovakia, Ukraine and location of crashed helicopter - November 13, 2015

A Ukrainian helicopter has crashed in Slovakia, killing six people, Slovak officials say.

They say the Mi-2 turbine-powered helicopter went down near Slovakia's border with Ukraine, the eastern frontier of the European Union.

Reports in Slovak media say the pilot may have been flying dangerously low in foggy weather to avoid being detected.

Slovak and Ukrainian officials say the helicopter may have been involved in smuggling people across the border.

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak was quoted by the website as saying illegal migrants could have been on board the helicopter.

Ukraine's border guard later said in a statement (in Ukrainian) that two Ukrainian nationals and four people from south-eastern Asia were on board.

It said the helicopter was likely used to transport illegal migrants.

Local officials say they found the bodies at the crash site near the village of Stretavka in Michalovce district on Friday.

Mr Kalinak did not rule out the possibility that the death toll may increase, as Mi-2 helicopters can carry eight people on board.

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