FUKUSHIMA – A Fukushima Prefectural Police helicopter crash-landed Saturday in the city of Koriyama in the prefecture, injuring all seven people on board, including four seriously, authorities said.
Five police officers and two medical workers were on board the aircraft, which was transporting a heart for transplant that was removed early Saturday from a brain-dead man in his 50s.
One of the medical workers and three police officers have been seriously hurt, but the injuries are not life-threatening, the police said.
The helicopter departed from a hospital in Aizuwakamatsu at around 8 a.m. It crash-landed in the Shimomoriya district, around 12 km west of Asakanagamori Station. There were no reports of injuries to anyone on the ground near the crash site.
The regional rescue association said a call was made to emergency services at around 8:10 a.m.
The transplant was scheduled to take place at the University of Tokyo Hospital on Saturday but had to be canceled as a result of the crash.
In general, heart transplant operations must be completed within four hours after the organ is harvested, as the organ cannot be preserved for long.
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