Yangyang: Five people were killed in a helicopter crash near a Buddhist temple in South Korea's Yangyang on Sunday, fire officials said.
Identification of the victims was underway, as officials had initially presumed only the two people on board - a 71-year-old pilot and a 54-year-old mechanic - had been killed, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The chopper, an S-58T on lease by the local governments of Yangyang, Sokcho and Goseong, crashed on a hill around 10:50am while surveying the area against forest fires, officials said.
The helicopter made by US helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky was smashed into pieces and burst into flames, but the fire is unlikely to spread, as it has mostly been put out, they said.
"We can see that the two passengers were killed in the helicopter's body, but it's difficult to reach them because the fire is being put out and the possibility of additional explosions exists," said one fire official.
The fire authorities have deployed one chopper, 28 pieces of equipment and 114 personnel, including first responders, to the scene.