Two Britons among the four dead after two helicopters collided on Australian coast

2 January 2023, 21:48 | Updated: 2 January 2023, 22:40

Two Britons were among the four people killed after two helicopters collided near Sea World in Queensland, Australia.
Two Britons were among the four people killed after two helicopters collided near Sea World in Queensland, Australia. Picture: PA

By Chris Samuel

Two Britons were among the four people killed after two helicopters collided near Sea World in Queensland, Australia.

A Foreign office spokesperson said: "We are supporting the family of two British nationals who died in Australia and are in contact with the local authorities."

The two helicopters collided on the Gold Coast at around 2pm local time, in a month when the region is at its busiest.

One helicopter appeared to have been taking off and the other landing when they collided near the Sea World theme park at Main Beach, a northern beach on the Gold Coast, Queensland state police acting inspector Gary Worrell said.

One helicopter landed safely on a sandbank, but debris from the other was spread across an area police described as difficult to access.

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"Members of the public and police tried to remove the people and they commenced first aid and tried to help these people to safety," Inspector Worrell said.

Earlier, Queensland Ambulance Service said 13 people were being assessed for injuries.

Sea World Helicopters, a separate company from the theme park, expressed its condolences, and said it was co-operating with the authorities handling the crash investigation.

Earlier, Queensland Ambulance Service said 13 people were being assessed for injuries.
Earlier, Queensland Ambulance Service said 13 people were being assessed for injuries. Picture: PA

"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 statement said.

The company did not confirm if it operated one or both helicopters involved in the crash, saying it would not comment further because of the investigation.

A witness named John told Melbourne radio station 3AW that patrons at Sea World heard the crash, and staff moved swiftly to close off areas closest to the crash.

"There was a massive, massive bang," he said. "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 said the accident was an "unthinkable tragedy".

"My deepest sympathies are with each of the families and everyone affected by this terrible accident," she said.

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