Two people dead after helicopter crash in Queensland
Two people have died following a helicopter crash off Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands near Hardy Reef.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Queensland Police confirm five people were on board the Eurocopter 120 when it plunged near Hardy Reef pontoon.
Emergency services were called after reports of a crash approximately 65km north-east of the Whitsundays, around 4pm Wednesday.
A 65-year-old woman and a 79-year-old man from the United States were recovered from the helicopter, but died at the scene.
A 35-year-old male pilot was on a routine flight when something went wrong, he escaped with minor injuries.
A 33-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man, also from the United States, survived with minor injuries.
Whitsunday Air Services, the company that owns the helicopter, released the following statement:
“Whitsunday Air Services can confirm that a tragic accident involving a Whitsunday Air Services helicopter carrying four passengers and one crew member has occurred at Hardy Reef today.
“The accident occurred while the helicopter was on final approach for a landing at it’s Hardy Reef Heliport and resulted in two fatalities and two passengers sustaining minor injuries.
“We are extremely saddened by this incident and our deepest condolences are with the families of all of the passengers. Whitsunday Air Services is continuing to work with the Queensland Police, the ATSB and CASA to assist with their investigations.
“Whitsunday Air Services will be suspending all operations while a full review process is undertaken. Further information will be released in due course.”
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will investigate the incident.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will be investigating the collision with water of a single-engine EC120B helicopter which occurred in the vicinity of Hardy Reef, north-west of Hook Island, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland this afternoon. Read More: https://t.co/ONocbIUO4Y pic.twitter.com/yaWNke4HCS
— ATSB (@atsbinfo) March 21, 2018