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In a helicopter crash north of Kaikōura, it is feared that two parents died and their two children were seriously injured. A third child was injured in the tragedy.
The plane crashed on a rocky beach at the mouth of the Kekerengu River during a flight from Christchurch at 12:40 on Tuesday. Witnesses say he got out of control while trying to descend.
Fearing that it would catch fire, first responders dismantled the windshield of the crashed plane to save the survivors.
It appears that the victims were the parents of two of the three children who were later admitted to Wellington Hospital.
Andrew Hamish Davidson Killed In Crash
According to his LinkedIn profile, Davidson, who is the general manager of Enatel Motive Power, acquired helicopter rental company Glenloch Helicopters Ltd on September 28.
When Kekerengu resident Ian Mehrtens first saw the helicopter from his hut, it looked like it was about to land.
“Everything happened so fast … It looked normal and then suddenly it started spinning,” he said.
“It got out of control very quickly.”
Mehrtens rushed across the road to the scene on a quad bike. About four or five people were already there. The windshield was opened to save the survivors.
He said he was carrying a young girl from the wreckage. A woman she believed to be her mother was dead. Other children who were rescued were a young boy and possibly another adolescent girl.
“There was nothing you could do except get them [the passengers] out. Especially since [the helicopter] had a chance to catch fire.
We were lucky to have a tall man help out there. He managed to reach out and catch the passengers. ”
The helicopter was at sea and was tide at that time.
Mehrtens said a tractor dragged the helicopter out of the water.
Emergency services came “pretty quickly,” he said. The first answer came from local farmers.
He later described the scene in RNZ’s Checkpoint program as “absolute slaughter.”
“[Helicopter] was next to him, and the rotor blades and Perspex curtains everywhere… items everywhere.”
Mehrtens said the pilot was about 20 to 30 meters above the ground when he lost control.
Helicopters flew regularly, but that wasn’t something he knew.
A police spokesperson said that he would not be released until more details of the dead and injured, including their age and gender, are contacted with their relatives.
The Shipping Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has launched an investigation into the accident.
The conditions reported so far, the Commission said, traveled from Christchurch with five people on board when the Airbus Helicopter EC120 lost control near the coast.
Harald Hendel, chief inspector of the accidents, said the location of the accident could be people who saw what happened next to a crowded café on State Highway No. 1.
“TAIC urges any witnesses – especially anyone who caught the accident on their vehicle’s front camera or any other recording device – to please contact TAIC as soon as possible.”
An investigation team was scheduled to be at the scene on Wednesday.
“His early work will include examining the wreckage, mapping the site, and speaking with witnesses. More evidence to gather in the coming weeks and months will likely include examining the components of the helicopter, searching any recorded data from the helicopter’s electronics, and retrieving maintenance records, “Hendel said.
One helicopter each from Christchurch, Nelson and Wellington, fire brigade, police and ambulance services, as well as three helicopters were called to the crash site.
Darryl Papesch, from Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s national headquarters, was in the area at the time.
“We were at the fire station just up the road when we got the callout information,” Papesch said.
“We received [fire] services from Kaikōura and Seddon, so there were about 16-20 people here.”
Volunteers and community members did a good job with the “chaotic situation”.