COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Emergency crews pulled the wrecked fuselage of an Airbus EC-225 helicopter out of the sea Saturday off western Norway after a crash that killed all 13 people on board.
As aviation experts looked for answers about Friday's crash, a somber-looking Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited victims' relatives in the western city of Bergen.
The helicopter was carrying workers from an offshore rig in the North Sea — the Statoil-operated Gullfaks B oil field — before it went down Friday on Turoey, a tiny island outside Bergen, Norway's second-largest city. Eleven Norwegians, one Briton and one Italian were aboard. The rig is 120 kilometers (74 miles) off the Norwegian coast.
It was not known why the helicopter crashed just after noon on a sunny yet windy day and no information has been released about any possible distress calls from the pilots. Norway itself has a strong aviation safety record.
Statoil said the 11 passengers were employed by a variety of companies: the Houston-based Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger N.V., Norwegian firms Aker Solutions and Karsten Moholt, the Danish robotics company Welltec, and Statoil. The two pilots — a Norwegian and the Italian — were CHC Helicopter staff.
One of the victims was a 32-year-old Norwegian woman with Schlumberger while the British victim was a 41-year-old man working for Halliburton, police said later, adding that the victims ranged between 32 and 60. Their names have not been released.
Police have not yet identified the remains, saying that could take days.
Norway's TV2 channel aired footage of what seemed to be a helicopter rotor blade spiraling down minutes before the helicopter crashed. The rotor was found on land, hundred meters (yards) from the fuselage that crashed into the sea.
The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority said the helicopter's flight recorders would be sent Saturday to Britain where data from the black boxes would be read. In France, Airbus Helicopters said two technical experts had been sent to Norway to assist in the investigation.
On Friday, Norway's aviation agency banned such helicopters from flying in Norway or near Norwegian offshore facilities.
Britain's Civil Aviation Authority said Saturday that all commercial passenger flights using the Airbus EC-225LP helicopter had been grounded but search-and-rescue flights could still fly.
Airbus Helicopters said it was "allied with the decision taken to put all commercial EC-225LP passenger flights on hold" but the company didn't urge operators worldwide to also suspend flights.
Because of the crash, Norway's King Harald and Queen Sonja canceled a trip to neighboring Sweden to take part in the celebrations Saturday marking King Carl XVI Gustaf's 70th birthday.
Associated Press writer Raphael Satter in Paris contributed.