The deadly Australia mid-air collision between two Helicopters could have seen many more deaths on Monday, January 2, Authorities say.
A British couple and two Australians died, and three others including two children were critically injured in a crash near Sea World on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Further, the Police said that the boat operators rushed to the scene for rescuing mission after the crash at around 14:00 local time (04:00 GMT).
The cause of the crash is not yet known. Officials say it happened less than 20 seconds after one Helicopter took off from a Sandbar and collided with another Aircraft that was landing.
All those killed and seriously injured were in the ascending Helicopter, which crashed within seconds after its main rotor blade struck the cockpit of the other aircraft, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said in a statement.
The second helicopter landed upright on the sandbank. Five of the six people on board suffered minor injuries.
“The landing was a remarkable achievement given the helicopter was damaged where the pilot was sitting”, ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell told reporters on Tuesday, January 3.
Both helicopters were operating tourist flights for Sea World – one of several popular theme parks on the Gold Coast. Its owner, Village Roadshow Theme Parks, has offered condolences and said Sea World Helicopters is an independent operator.
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The ATSB says it will conduct interviews and meticulously scour the helicopters, scene, footage, and other evidence before speculating on what caused the crash. It called on eyewitnesses to come forward.