Feb 10 (Reuters) – Six people, including the group chief executive of one of Nigeria’s largest banks, were killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Friday, authorities and the banking group said.

Six people were on board the helicopter when it crashed around 10 p.m. Friday (0600 GMT Saturday) near Nipton, California, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Access Holdings said its CEO Herbert Wigwe, his wife and son were among those who died in the crash.

“We extend our deep and sincere sympathies to his family and loved ones,” Access Holdings Chairman Abubakar Jimoh said in a statement on Sunday, adding that the company will soon appoint an acting CEO.

Local media reported that the Nigerian Exchange Group’s former Chairman Abimbola Ogunbanjo also died in the crash.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said the scene of the crash was determined to be east of the 15-Freeway, near Halloran Springs Road, adding that no survivors had been located as of Saturday.

The FAA identified the helicopter as a Eurocopter EC 130 and said it would investigate along with the National Transportation Safety Board.


The helicopter was headed to Las Vegas when it crashed near a border city between Nevada and California, according to multiple reports.

(Reporting by Surbhi Misra, Jyoti Narayan in Bengaluru and MacDonald Dzirutwe in Lagos; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Sharon Singleton)