Two helicopters collide mid-air on Australia's Gold Coast leaving four dead
Photos from the site show debris strewn on the land, with several personnel and vessels in the waters.
A mid-air collision between two helicopters near a popular tourist attraction in Australia's Gold Coast region on Monda has left four people dead and critically injured three others, authorities said.
The incident took place at around 2 pm local time near the Sea World theme park, Gary Worrell, acting inspector at the Queensland police, told reporters.
“Those two aircraft, when collided, have crash landed on the sand bank just out from Sea World Resort,” Worrell said.
Emergency services were having trouble accessing the sand bank, he further informed. Photos from the site show debris strewn on the land, with several personnel and vessels in the waters.
The windscreen of one of the helicopters was removed and it landed safely on the island, the police said. The other helicopter crashed, and it was upside down, Worrell said.
Jayney Shearman, from the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), said that a total of 13 people were on the chopper.
Talking about the cause of the collision, Worrell said that while the exact reason has not been established yet, initial indications suggest that one helicopter had been taking off and the other landing when they collided.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has launched an investigation into the accident. Angus Mitchell, Chief Commissioner of the ATSB, said that the Brisbane and Canberra offices will gather evidence and examine the wreckage. The officers will also map the site and interview witnesses and involved parties, Mitchell added.
A preliminary report is expected to come within the next six to eight weeks.
(With inputs from agencies)
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