4 dead after 2 helicopters collide midair off Gold Coast, Australia

Australian media outlets have reported that there are three people in critical condition.

Ruth Chai | January 02, 2023, 08:20 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

A joyride turned deadly after two helicopters collided midair in Australia's Gold Coast, near the Sea World theme park.

The accident left four dead and three critically injured as nearby beachgoers rushed to provide emergency aid to the casualties, reported the Associated Press (AP).

Queensland state police acting inspector Gary Worrell said in a news conference that initial findings indicate that one helicopter was taking off while the other was landing.

As seen in video footage posted on Twitter, the helicopter that appeared to be landing was about to clip the tail of the helicopter which appeared to be taking off.

In the aftermath of the incident, one helicopter managed to land safely, while the other landed upside down in the water.

Footage of the aftermath showed debris strewn all over the beach.

According to News Corp Australia, a witness told Melbourne radio station 3AW that patrons at Sea World heard a "massive, massive bang".

He said that he "didn't really know what had happened" and described the incident as "pretty scary stuff".

At least 13 people were injured in the collision, among which three – one woman and two young boys – are in critical condition, reported News Corp Australia.

Later reports suggested that a total of nine people were taken to the hospital for their injuries, according to Queensland emergency services.

Beachgoers rushed to help

Worrell was quoted by News Corp Australia as saying that police and emergency services were alerted to a two-helicopter midair just opposite Sea World at about 12pm Singapore time.

“Police and emergency services and members of the public attended the incident," he said, noting that people on Jet Skis, family boaters and beachgoers rushed to assist the trapped and inured, reported AP.

"Members of the public and police tried to remove the people and they commenced first aid and tried to get those people to safety from an airframe that was upside down," he added.

Investigation launched

The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued a statement claiming that they are investigating the collision and appealed for witnesses to come forward.

“Transport safety investigators with experience in helicopter operations, maintenance and survivability engineering are deploying from the ATSB’s Brisbane and Canberra offices and are expected to begin arriving at the accident site from Monday afternoon," the statement wrote.

As part of their investigation, ATSB investigators will examine the wreckage, "recover any relevant components for further examination", gather any available recorded data for analysis, and interview witnesses and other involved parties".

A spokesperson for Sea World Helicopters told ABC news that both helicopters belonged to the company.

Sea World helicopters is a separate company from the theme park.

Condolences pour in

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese posted a message of condolence to the victims on Twitter.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also expressed her "deepest sympathies" to the victims' families.

Top image via Twitter