7 South Africa police officers die in helicopter crash

Police in South Africa say seven officers have died in a helicopter crash as they headed to the scene of an armed robbery.

The helicopter crashed and burst into flames near Witbank, 140km from Johannesburg, killing all seven aboard, including the pilot and a crew member.

Police official Sally de Beer said two police helicopters were heading to a break-in at a bakery where police had come under fire and the suspects were believed to have taken a hostage.

Police in the second helicopter later arrested seven people but found no hostage had been taken.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa visited the crash site and said the officers died in the fight against "vicious and heartless criminals."



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