Woman dies after being blown over by Coastguard helicopter landing at hospital

4 March 2022, 22:08 | Updated: 5 March 2022, 13:39

The incident happened in the Plymouth Hospitals grounds
The incident happened in the Plymouth Hospitals grounds. Picture: Google Maps

By Will Taylor

An elderly woman has died in an incident involving a Coastguard helicopter that was landing at a hospital.

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Devon and Cornwall Police said the aircraft was touching down on a helipad at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth on Friday when two people were injured.

It is believed that the down draft from the helicopter landing caused an 87-year-old woman to be blown over, police said.

She suffered a serious head injury and died following the incident - her next of kin have been made aware.

A second woman, also in her 80s, got caught in her car door, which slammed shut while she was leaving the vehicle.

She suffered a broken pelvis and is being treated in hospital.

Police are continuing to investigate what happened.

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Detective Inspector Andy Hodges explained: "It is currently believed that at around 11:20am on Friday 4 March, a HM Coastguard helicopter was landing at the helipad at Derriford; the helicopter was carrying a casualty linked to a separate job earlier that morning.

"Whilst the helicopter was in the process of landing on the helipad, the down draft caused one member of the public, an 87-year-old woman from the Plymouth area who was on near-by footpath to be blown over.

"She sustained a serious head injury and later died in Derriford Hospital. Her next of kin have been informed and a file is to be prepared for the coroner.

"A second woman, also in their 80's, was in the car park when it is believed the down draft caused the car door to slam shut whilst she was exiting her vehicle; She has suffered a broken pelvis and remains in hospital in a stable condition."

DI Hodges continued: "Our role now is to assist with the investigation which is now being led on by the Air Accident Investigations Branch.

"This is a tragic incident, and our thoughts go out to all affected by what took place yesterday at Derriford."

A spokesperson for the Coastguard said: "An HM Coastguard helicopter was flying a patient in to Derriford Hospital, Plymouth earlier today (4 March).

"As it landed, there was an incident which is now being investigated by Devon and Cornwall Police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. Our thoughts are with all those affected by [Friday's] incident."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "Our deepest sympathies go out to those affected by the incident at Derriford Hospital.

"It would be inappropriate to comment while the incident is investigated by Devon and Cornwall Police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch."