MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Two helicopters collided at an Australian vacationer website Monday afternoon, killing 4 passengers and severely injuring three others in a crash that drew emergency assist from beachgoers having fun with the water through the southern summer time.
One helicopter apparently took off and the opposite landed once they collided close to the Sea World theme park in Major Seashore, a northern seaside on the Gold Coast, Queensland state police Appearing Superintendent Gary Worrell informed a information convention.
One helicopter landed safely on a sandbar, however particles from the opposite was unfold throughout an space police described as tough to entry.
The useless and three most severely injured individuals have been all passengers within the crashed helicopter.
“Members of the general public and police tried to take away individuals they usually began first assist and tried to safe these individuals from overturned airframe,” Worrell mentioned.
“(Individuals on) Jet Skis, household boaters, atypical members of the general public rushed to assist these individuals.
Passengers within the different helicopter, which misplaced its windshield within the crash, are additionally receiving medical consideration.
Footage of the crash confirmed a helicopter shortly after takeoff being clipped by one other helicopter flying over the water.
Sea World Helicopters, a separate firm from the theme park, expressed its condolences and mentioned it was cooperating with the authorities dealing with the crash investigation.
“We and the whole flying group are devastated by what has occurred and our honest condolences exit to everybody concerned and particularly to the family members and household of the deceased,” the assertion mentioned.
The corporate didn’t affirm whether or not it operated one or each helicopters concerned within the crash, saying within the assertion that it might not remark additional due to the investigation.
A witness named John informed Melbourne radio station 3AW that patrons at Sea World heard the crash.
He mentioned employees on the theme park moved rapidly to shut off areas closest to the crash.
“There was a large, huge explosion,” he mentioned. “It was simply big. I am unsure if the propellers or something hit one another. However there was this poor girl and her son close to the helipad in tears.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk mentioned the accident was an “unthinkable tragedy.
“My deepest sympathies are with every of the households and everybody affected by this horrible accident,” she mentioned.
Australian Transport Security Bureau Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell mentioned an investigation into the reason for the crash was underway.
Queensland Ambulance Service mentioned earlier that 13 individuals have been being assessed for accidents.
The Gold Coast area is at its busiest in January, the height time for holidays in Australia’s summer time.
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