Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two Men Confirmed Dead After Helicopter Crash Near Shoalwater Bay

Two men are confirmed dead after a helicopter crashed in rugged bushland near Shoalwater Bay on Thursday 8 September.

Three people were aboard the Aerospatiale AS350 Squirrel, when it went down at Double Mountain, north of Byfield near Shoalwater Bay, north of Rockhampton, about 12.20pm.

Two rescue choppers were sent to the scene. Crews treated the sole survivor at the scene for a shoulder injury. He was flown to Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Police have confirmed two other men died at the scene of the crash, which happened in inaccessible terrain.

Rescuers were unable to remove the two bodies trapped in the wreckage, and the scene will be guarded overnight until police can bring in a helicopter again in the morning to try and remove the deceased men.

The pilot had radioed police before the crash.

The the helicopter was a charter belonging to Cairns-based Heli Charters. The squirrel is believed to be VH-RDU which is pictured below in Cairns in 2009.

The chopper is at the base of a 40m embankment and rescuers have had to navigate thick trees and scrub to get to the people who were on board.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the cause of the accident.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims families.

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