Air Corps helicopter door falls from sky into Clondalkin school grounds

Investigation under way after incident involving air ambulance returning to base

Inspectors examine an Air Corps AW 139 army helicopter in 2009 after its door fell off while carrying then minister Martin Cullen  in March 2009. The door was found in the nearby Killarney National Park. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Inspectors examine an Air Corps AW 139 army helicopter in 2009 after its door fell off while carrying then minister Martin Cullen in March 2009. The door was found in the nearby Killarney National Park. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

 

An investigation is under way after the rear door of an Air Corps helicopter detached and fell more than 250m into the grounds of a Dublin secondary school.

The crew of the AW139 aircraft had successfully completed a life-saving mission to a Dublin hospital and were returning to Baldonnel Aerodrome for fuel when the incident took place at 5.52pm on Thursday evening.

The door fell into the grounds of Moyle Park School, a boys’ secondary school in Clondalkin.

The incident was witnessed by several people on the ground though nobody was hurt.

A Defence Forces spokesman said its personnel were on the grounds within five minutes along with members of An Garda Síochána.

An investigation team were on scene within 30 minutes. Once the area was analysed, the door was removed and transported to Baldonnel.

The emergency aeromedical service will recommence on Friday, as normal, with a replacement aircraft and crew.

A full investigation will be conducted into the cause of this incident.

Gardaí said they were alerted to an item falling from the sky at approximately 6.20pm.

A number of witnesses contacted gardaí in Clondalkin to confirm a large item landed in the grounds of Moyle Park College.

The incident was not the first time a door from an Air Corp helicopter was lost. In 2009, the door on the Air Corps AW 139 army helicopter fell off while ferrying then minister Martin Cullen over Killarney Golf Club in March 2009. The door was found in the nearby Killarney National Park.