Australia helicopter crash: Four dead and several injured after collision near Gold Coast’s Sea World Resort


A mid-air collision between two helicopters in Australia has left four dead and three others in critical condition, Australian authorities said Monday.

The collision happened around 2pm local time near the popular Main Beach tourist strip on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane.

“Those two planes, when they collided, landed on the sandy beach just outside the Sea World resort,” Queensland Police Inspector Gary Worrell, regional duty officer for the south-east region, told reporters.

He added that it was difficult for the emergency forces to access the sand bank, located near the beach.

Thirteen people were on board the two helicopters, Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) Ginny Shearman said. Of these, four people died, three were injured, and six suffered minor injuries, including cuts from broken glass.

An aerial view of the crash site of two helicopters on the Gold Coast on January 2.

He said that all the injured have been taken to the hospital.

Photos from the site show debris lying on a sandbar, with personnel huddled on land and numerous ships in the surrounding waters.

Worrell said that while it was too early to determine the exact cause of the accident, initial investigations indicated that one of the helicopters was taking off and the other was landing when it collided.

One of the helicopters removed its windshield and landed safely on the island. “The other helicopter fell and was upside down.”

He added: After the crash, the surrounding police and members of the public quickly rushed to the place and tried to remove the people inside the helicopter and provide first aid.

The wreckage of a helicopter that crashed on January 2 near Main Beach on Australia's Gold Coast.

Australian Transport Safety Commission (ATSB) chairman Angus Mitchell said in a statement that an investigation had been launched into the collision.

Investigators from ATSB offices in Brisbane and Canberra will be sent to the scene to gather evidence, examine the wreckage and map the scene, as well as interview witnesses and parties involved, Mitchell added.

He asked anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the helicopters flying to contact investigators. He said that the preliminary report will be submitted in the next six to eight weeks and the final report after the investigation is completed.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed her “deepest sympathies” to the families of the victims and everyone affected. “What happened on the Gold Coast today is an unimaginable tragedy,” he said.

Police say Sea World Drive is closed to traffic and are asking drivers and pedestrians to avoid the area.

Sea World Drive is the main access point to the marine park, which is a favorite among tourists in the heart of the Gold Coast. It is currently peak tourist season in the region and schools are closed for the long summer vacation.

CNN has reached out to Sea World for comment.


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