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 / Updated  / Source: Reuters

ISTANBUL— Seven people died when a Turkish military helicopter carrying 15 passengers, including senior military personnel, crashed in northeast Turkey's Black Sea region on Tuesday, military sources said.

The crash, which occurred in the highlands of Giresun province, appeared to be an accident caused by bad weather, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

"It is understood to be an accident resulting purely from poor weather conditions," Yildirim told reporters in televised comments. The armed forces were expected to make a statement.

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The remaining eight passengers were injured in the crash, the military sources said, adding that those on board consisted of eight military personnel and their relatives.

A brigadier general, colonel and two majors were among those on board when the helicopter crashed, the private Dogan news agency reported.

They were on a flight to greet other military personnel and their families to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the agency said.

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It said the S-70 Sikorsky helicopter crashed around 5:30 p.m. in the Alucra district of Giresun and rescue teams and ambulances were sent to the site of the crash.

Photographs broadcast on CNN Turk showed local residents rushing to the scene to help those on board, on a hillside cloaked in fog.

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli traveled to the area of the crash, media reports said.