Italy searches for missing chopper; 4 Turks among 7 on board

ROME (AP) — Italian rescue crews resumed searching Friday for a helicopter carrying seven people, including four Turkish citizens, that went missing in a forested, mountainous area of northcentral Italy, authorities and Turkish news reports said.

Italian firefighters and the Alpine rescue service said the searches began Thursday after the private chopper disappeared from radar screens while flying over the province of Modena, in the Tuscan–Emilian Apennines.

The crews searching Friday used high-tech instruments to detect cellular pings even in areas without cell coverage, the firefighters said in a statement.

Turkish TV channel NTV said the helicopter took off from the city of Lucca heading for Treviso and that the four Turks on board worked for Turkish industrial group Eczacibasi.

Eczacibasi said its four employees were in Italy to take part in a paper technologies trade fair and were traveling to a tissue paper production facility. In a statement, the company said it was in contact with authorities in Italy, the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Embassy in Italy, and expressed hope that it would receive “good news” as soon as possible.

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