Benin prime minister unhurt after helicopter crash

Lionel Zinsou heads a record 48 candidates seeking to contest next month's Benin presidential election (AFP Photo/Charles Placide Tossou)

Cotonou (AFP) - Benin Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou emerged unscathed after a helicopter he was travelling in crash-landed in the country's northwest, an official said Sunday.

The incident occurred on Saturday at a stadium in Djougou but there were no casualties.

"The prime minister was on board at the time of the crash-landing ... happily he emerged safe and sound," a source in the Beninese presidency told AFP.

"My father is well. There are no victims of the helicopter crash in Djougou. Thank you for your messages," added Zinsou's daughter Marie-Cecile on Twitter.

An investigation has been opened into the circumstances leading to the incident, police said.

Zinsou, a former banker who holds both French and Beninese nationality, has said he will run as the ruling party's candidate for a presidential election scheduled to in February.