TOKYO (AP) — Japanese authorities say all nine people aboard a search and rescue helicopter that crashed into the central mountains are confirmed dead.
The Bell 412EP helicopter carrying seven local rescue workers from the Gunma prefecture and two from a flight service company lost contact an hour after takeoff Friday and crashed.
Prefectural officials say the last person aboard was retrieved Saturday and pronounced dead.
The helicopter was on a two-hour flight to monitor a mountain trail. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Japanese media quoted witnesses as saying the helicopter was flying extremely low in foggy weather before the crash.