Injured American journalists in Turkey for treatment

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The New York Times journalists are ferried to Istanbul after crash in northern Iraq's Sinjar mountains

The New York Times journalists are ferried to Istanbul after crash in northern Iraq's Sinjar mountains

ISTANBUL – Two American journalists injured in a helicopter crash in northern Iraq have been transferred to a hospital in Istanbul.

Alissa J. Rubin, 56, and Adam Ferguson, 35, who were working for The New York Times, were flown to the American Hospital on Wednesday after the helicopter they were travelling in crashed while carrying aid to Ezidi civilians stranded in the Sinjar mountains. The pilot was killed and around 20 other passengers, including an Ezidi member of the Iraqi parliament, Vian Dakhil, were also injured.

The Times reported that Rubin, the newspaper's Paris bureau chief, suffered concussion, a broken wrist and broken ribs while Ferguson, a freelance photographer, suffered minor injuries.

The helicopter, a Russian-made Mi-17 piloted by Peshmerga forces, had dropped aid and collected a group of Ezidis when it crashed shortly after take-off. The Times reported Ferguson as saying: “If we had been another 50 meters higher we’d all be dead.” There was no information on the condition of the other passengers.

Kurdish President Massoud Barzani's aide Fuad Hussein said the crash was due to pilot error.

A Turkish Health Ministry said the pair were collected by air ambulance. A spokesman for the American Hospital declined to comment on their condition.

Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with both Alissa and Adam.”

Islamic State militants have forced thousands of Ezidis to flee their homes and seek shelter around Mount Sinjar, near the Syrian border.

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