Helicopters collide over Australian beach, 4 passengers dead

Melbourne, Australia — Four passengers were killed and three seriously injured when two helicopters collided at a tourist destination in Australia on Monday afternoon.

Queensland Police Commissioner Gary Worrell told a news conference that one helicopter took off and another landed when they collided near the SeaWorld theme park on Main Beach, a beach north of the Gold Coast. said it looked

One helicopter landed safely on a sandbar, while debris from another was spread over an area police described as difficult to access.

The dead and the three most seriously injured were passengers of the crashed helicopter.

“Citizens and police tried to remove people, initiated first aid, and tried to save people from the upside-down aircraft to safety,” Worrell said.

“[People]had jet skis, family boaters, ordinary people rushing to help these people.”

Another helicopter passenger who lost his windshield in the crash is also receiving medical assistance.

Footage of the crash showed a helicopter shortly after takeoff being clipped to another helicopter flying over water.

SeaWorld Helicopters, a company separate from the theme park, expressed condolences and said it was cooperating with authorities investigating the crash.

“We and the entire flying community are devastated by this incident and our deepest condolences to everyone involved, especially the loved ones and families of the deceased,” the statement said.

The company did not confirm whether it operated one or both of the helicopters involved in the crash, and said in a statement that it would not comment further as it investigated.

A witness named John told Melbourne radio station 3AW that a Sea World patron heard the crash.

He said theme park staff moved quickly to shut down the area closest to the crash.

“There was a massive explosion,” he said. “It was just huge. I don’t know if it was propellers or something that hit each other. But this poor woman and her son were crying near the helipad.”

Queensland Prime Minister Anastasia Parašchuk said the accident was “an unimaginable tragedy.

“My deepest condolences to the family and everyone affected by this horrific accident,” she said.

Australian Transport Safety Authority Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said an investigation into the cause of the crash was ongoing.

Queensland Ambulance Service previously said 13 people were assessed as injured.

The Gold Coast region is busiest in January, the peak summer holiday season in Australia.

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