EDINBURGH, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Four people were killed after a helicopter with 18 people on board ditched in the sea west of Shetland at north-east of the British mainland, local police said on Saturday.
The other people have been rescued, according to the reports, adding that those on board the helicopter included 16 workers and two crew.
The incident happened two miles (about 3.22 kilometers) west of Sumburgh airport at 6:20 p.m. local time (1820 GMT) on Friday and the Super Puma L2 aircraft was transporting people from oil and gas platforms in the North Sea back to Shetland, reported the Sky TV news.
"The bodies of three people have been recovered and work is underway to recover the body of the fourth person," said a Police Scotland statement.
A total of 14 people were rescued from the sea, including the two crew in a search operation involving coastguard, police, the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and local lifeboats, said the report.
Five were discharged from hospital and nine detained overnight either for observation or suffering from exposure, added the police statement.
The helicopter lost communication as it approached the airport on the southern tip of Shetland, said the Helicopter operator company.
In a following statement, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond expressed sympathies with the families, friends and colleagues of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident, expecting the result of a full investigation by the relevant authorities.
Two Super Puma helicopters ditched in the North Sea separately in May and in October last year, and all passengers and crew were rescued in both incidents.
Helicopters are often used by Energy companies to ferry workers back and forth from rigs to explore large deposits of oil and gas in the North Sea.