At Least 4 Dead After Helicopters Collide Over Australian Beach

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Two helicopters collided in an Australian vacationer hotspot Monday afternoon, killing 4 passengers and critically injuring three others in a crash that drew emergency help from beachgoers having fun with the water through the southern summer time.

One helicopter appeared to have been taking off and the opposite touchdown once they collided close to the Sea World theme park in Predominant Beach, a northern seaside on the Gold Coast, Gary Worrell, Queensland state police appearing inspector, stated at a information convention.

Two crashed helicopters sit on the sand at a collision scene close to Seaworld, on the Gold Coast, Australia, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.

Dave Hunt/AAP Picture by way of AP

One helicopter landed safely on a sandbank, however particles from the opposite was unfold throughout an space police described as tough to entry.

The lifeless and three most critically injured individuals have been all passengers within the crashed helicopter.

“Members of the public and police tried to remove the people and they commenced first aid and tried to get those people to safety from an airframe that was upside down,” Worrell stated.

“(People on) Jet Skis, family boaters, ordinary members of the public rushed to assist these people.”

Passengers within the different helicopter, which misplaced its windscreen within the crash, are additionally receiving medical help.

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 stated it was cooperating with the authorities dealing with the crash investigation.

“We and the entire flying community are devastated by what has happened and our sincere condolences go to all those involved and especially the loved ones and family of the deceased,” the assertion stated.

The corporate didn’t verify if it operated one or each helicopters concerned within the crash, saying within the assertion it could not remark additional due to the investigation.

A witness named John advised Melbourne radio station 3AW that patrons at Sea World heard the crash.

He stated workers on the theme park moved swiftly to shut off areas closest to the crash.

“There was a massive, massive bang,” he stated. “It was just huge. I’m not sure if it was the propellers or whatever hitting against each other. But there was this poor lady and her son near the helipad in tears.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stated the accident was an “unthinkable tragedy.

“My deepest sympathies are with each of the families and everyone affected by this terrible accident,” she stated.

Australian Transport Security Bureau chief commissioner Angus Mitchell stated an investigation into the reason for the crash was underway.

Queensland Ambulance Service stated 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.