Two Britons among four killed in Australian helicopter collision near Sea World theme park | Breaking News News
Two Britons were among four killed after two helicopters collided mid-air near a marine theme park in the Australian state of Queensland.
An FCDO spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of two British nationals who died in Australia and are in contact with the local authorities.”
The collision occurred on the Gold Coast at around 2pm local time, when the park would have been filled with families enjoying school summer holidays.
Initial information suggested one of the helicopters had been taking off and the other had been landing when they collided, Queensland Police Acting Inspector Gary Worrell said.
Members of the public were among those first on the scene, with a sandbank making it difficult for emergency service workers to access the site of the crash.
“Members of the public and police tried to remove the people and they commenced first aid and tried to help these people to safety,” said Inspector Worrell.
Janey Shearman, from Queensland Ambulance Service, said 13 people had been on the two helicopters.
The three people critically injured were suffering from “multi-system trauma”, while six people with minor injuries – mainly from the impact of the glass – were also taken to hospital.
Sea World Helicopters, a separate company from the theme park, expressed its condolences, saying it was “devastated” by what had happened and was co-operating in an investigation opened by authorities exploring the cause of the crash.
A statement read: “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.”
A witness named John described to Melbourne radio station 3AW that there was a “massive, massive bang” and staff at the theme part moved swiftly to close off areas closest to the crash.
“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”.
She said: “My deepest sympathies are with each of the families and everyone affected by this terrible accident.”