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British citizens dead after helicopters collide in mid-air

British citizens dead after helicopters collide in mid-air

The incident unfolded at the Sea World theme park in Queensland, Australia

Two British people were among four killed in a shocking mid-air helicopter collision in Australia.

The incident unfolded just outside of the Sea World theme park in Queensland today (2 January) at approximately 2:00pm local time.

Three more people were critically injured in the collision.

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."

Initial reports stated that the collision unfolded after one of the aircraft operated by Sea World Helicopter Tours attempted to land while another went to depart from the Gold Coast location.

It's believed that all four of those who passed away were on the same vehicle, as were the three who are in critical condition.

Gary Worrell, Queensland state police acting inspector, said: "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.

"(People on) Jet Skis, family boaters, ordinary members of the public rushed to assist these people."

Five of the six passengers on the other helicopter suffered minor injuries after its pilot made an emergency landing, reports the BBC.

Two Brits were among four people killed in a shocking mid-air helicopter collision in Australia.

Footage has emerged captured just moments before the collision, with one of the vehicles departing from its landing pad.

9News, which shared the clip online, said it would 'not show the moment of impact'. An onlooker can be heard asking in the background: "Is it going to crash?"

A witness of the incident named John spoke to radio station 3AW about the shocking events, saying: "There was a massive, massive bang... It was just huge."

Right now is a busy time of year for the theme park and the helicopter tour agency, as summer officially lasts from 1 December to 28 February in Australia.

An investigation into the fatal mid-air crash is now underway, as confirmed by Angus Mitchell, chief commissioner at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

He said: "Transport safety investigators with experience in helicopter operations, maintenance and survivability engineering are deploying from the ATSB’s Brisbane and Canberra offices."

An investigation into the incident is underway.

Condolences to those who lost their lives in the tragedy and their loved ones have been expressed by many, including Sea World Helicopters, which is a separate firm to the theme park.

A spokesperson for the agency said: "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."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: UK News, Australia