Four hurt in helicopter crash

 

Four people have been injured after a police helicopter crashed this morning in the Mourne Mountains.

A police spokeswoman said the four occupants were able to walk away from the wreckage. They are not thought to have been seriously injured but were taken to hospital for observation.

It is understood the Eurocopter Squirrel, which is being leased by the PSNI, turned over shortly after taking off.

The helicopter was carrying a pilot, photographer, observer and an officer from the police emergency team.

The cause of the accident, which occurred in poor weather, is being examined by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport.

After the occupants stumbled out of the helicopter. Two were then placed on stretchers and carried to another part of the mountain, where they were airlifted to hospital.

This morning's crash happened near the location where an Agusta helicopter came down near Hilltown, Co Down, on Saturday afternoon mid-way between Newry and Newcastle. Three people, including the pilot, died in that crash.

The aircraft was participating in the police clearance of the site where Saturday's crash happened.

Acting chairman of the Police Board Brian Rea said: "I have been spoken to the Chief Constable this morning about the accident involving a police helicopter in the Mourne Mountains and am relieved that none of the four police officers on board were seriously injured.

"Police officers often have to work in difficult environments and this accident shows just how difficult those conditions can be as these officers were involved in a clear-up operation following Saturday's crash that sadly claimed the lives of three people".

"I wish all four officers a speedy recovery from any injuries they received in the accident", he said.