A helicopter carrying high-level business executives crashed onto a Turkish highway on Friday, killing five people on board, after it hit a television tower in an outlying district of Istanbul, NTV television said.

An official of Kugu Havacilik, a company involved in issuing the licence for the helicopter, told Reuters it belonged to the Eczacibasi pharmaceuticals and household products group. Eczacibasi was not immediately available for comment.

The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter had taken off from Istanbul’s main Ataturk airport with seven people on board.

CNN Turk quoted local officials as saying the seven included three Turks, two of them pilots, and four foreigners. The DHA agency said four Russians were in the helicopter.

CNN Turk quoted a local official as saying first indications were that a total of five people had been killed. No-one on the ground appeared to have been affected.

The identity of the victims was not immediately clear.

(Feature image source: AFP)