Investigators picked through the wreckage Tuesday of a heavily loaded U.S.-owned cargo helicopter that crashed in the Peruvian jungle shortly after takeoff, killing its five American and two Peruvian crew members. (AP Photo/Noe Nole)

The tandem-rotor Chinook BH-234 chopper, owned by Columbia Helicopters, Inc. of the Portland suburb of Aurora, Oregon, crashed Monday near the provincial capital of Pucallpa.

It was under contract for petroleum exploration support, en route to a drilling location in northern Peru, said Todd Petersen, the company's vice president of marketing.

Investigators stand near the wreckage of a U.S.-owned cargo helicopter in Pucallpa, Peru.

Witnesses quoted in local media reports said the chopper lost control and spewed smoke before crashing. (AP Photo/Noe Nole)

The company has temporarily grounded six Chinook helicopters for a thorough inspection, Petersen told The Oregonian newspaper, adding they are expected to be out of service two to three days. He didn't immediately respond to an Associated Press phone message after business hours Tuesday to confirm that.

This undated photo provided by Columbia Helicopters based in Aurora, Ore., shows the helicopter that crashed Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, near the provincial capital of Pucallpa, Peru. (AP Photo/Columbia Helicopters)
This undated photo provided by Columbia Helicopters based in Aurora, Ore., shows the helicopter that crashed. (AP Photo/Columbia Helicopters)
 
 
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