Seven employees of a Portland-based helicopter company are dead after a crash in Peru Monday.
Michael Fahey of Columbia Helicopters confirmed the death of the employees -- five Americans and two Peruvians.
"It's a very sad day for us. We work throughout the world globally, but we're a family. I personally knew many of the people who died. We're grieving ... and we're praying for the family members," he told reporters.
Fahey says a team from the company has been sent to help with an investigation into the cause of the crash.
Those who lost their lives include pilot Dann Immel of Gig Harbor, Washington, Darrel Birkes, and Oregonian living in Peru, Edwin Cordova of Florida, Jaime Pickett of Tennessee, Leon Bradford of Utah, Luis Ramos and Igor Castillo of Peru.
Fahey says the team was supporting petroleum exploration operations. He says it was a ferry flight. The helicopter was also carrying an external load.