sydney [Australia]Jan. 2 (ANI): Four people have died and three are in critical condition after two helicopters collided mid-air in Australia, authorities said Monday, CNN reported.
“The collision happened around 2pm local time, near Main Beach, a popular tourist area on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane,” CNN reported.
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Queensland Police Inspector Gary Worrell, Regional Duty Officer for the South East Region, said: “The two planes crashed on a sandbar outside the SeaWorld resort when they collided.” He said emergency services were finding it difficult to access the sandbar.
According to Jayney Shearman of the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), there were 13 people on board the two helicopters. Of the 13 people, 4 were killed and 3 were seriously injured. Six passengers suffered minor injuries, such as cuts from broken glass.
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All the injured have been taken to hospital, she said.
Photos from the crash scene showed debris scattered across a sandy field. All kinds of people gathered on the land, and there were many ships in the surrounding sea area.
“Worrell said that while it is too early to determine the exact cause of the accident, initial investigations indicate that one helicopter was taking off and the other was landing when they collided,” CNN reported.
According to CNN, “a helicopter” had its windshield removed and landed safely on the island. The other (helicopter) crashed and it was upside down,” Worrell said.
Nearby police and citizens quickly rushed to the accident site. They evacuated people from the helicopter and administered first aid.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said in a statement an investigation had been launched into the collision.
Investigators from the ATSB’s Brisbane and Canberra offices will be dispatched to the scene to gather evidence, examine the wreckage and map the scene, as well as interview witnesses and interested parties, Mitchell added, according to CNN.
Mitchell asked anyone who witnessed the collision to contact investigators. He said a preliminary report would be available in the next six to eight weeks, with a final report to be made available after the investigation was completed.
More recently, six people were killed when two World War II-era military planes collided and crashed in midair during an airshow in Dallas, Texas, CNN reported.
More than 40 fire and rescue teams were called to the scene after two vintage aircraft, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 King Cobra, crashed during the Wings Over Dallas airshow. (Arnie)
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