Australia helicopter collision leaves four people dead

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2 Jan 2023
11


Four persons were killed in a mid-air collision between two helicopters on Monday at Australia's Gold Coast, a popular tourist destination. Photos from the scene showed one of the helicopters' rotors laying on a sandbar.
Police reported that three further persons were in severe condition and that onlookers had rushed to rescue passengers from an upside-down helicopter.

Images on state network ABC showed that one chopper had overturned on the exposed sandbank just a few feet from the shore.

The helicopter's rotors, which were nearby, had been removed.
At the crash site, which is close to the well-known Sea World marine theme park on the Gold Coast, the other helicopter looked to be largely undamaged.

Images of the aftermath showed a bright yellow rescue helicopter had landed nearby on the sand, its blades whirring, and there were several rescuers stationed in the area.

On the exposed sandbank, which was covered in pieces of the wrecked helicopter, there were many small police and rescue boats moored.


“Those two aircraft, when collided, have crash landed, and landed, on the sandbank just out from Sea World resort,” Queensland police service acting inspector Gary Worrell told a news conference at the scene.
“As a result of that, four people have lost their lives today,” he said. “Three others are critical in hospital.”

Investigation Begins

According to Worrell, one of the helicopters looked to be taking off as the other was making a landing, but air accident investigators had not yet uncovered all the details.

According to the police department, the helicopter's windscreen was broken but it still landed safely. “The other airframe has crashed and it was upside down.”
“Members of the public and police tried to remove the people and they commenced first aid to try and get those people to safety (from) the airframe that was upside down.”
Access to the scene was complicated by the sandbank’s location, Worrell said.
“I would like to thank all those that attended and made (it) possible to get those people to emergency care like they did.”
Australia's transport safety agency announced that an investigation into the mid-air accident had already been opened.

It stated in a statement that investigators would investigate the debris, map the location, and recover components for investigation. The agency issued an appeal for anyone with video or eyewitness accounts of the helicopters in flight to get in touch. A draft report was anticipated in six to eight weeks.

References
Punchng, 'Two helicopters collide in Australia, four dead' (online, 2022) <https://punchng.com/two-helicopters-collide-in-australia-four-dead/>.

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