Two helicopters collided in mid-air today on Australia’s Gold Coast tourist destination, killing four people, officials said, with images showing one of the aircraft’s rotors lying on a sand bank.
According to police, three other people are in critical condition.
One helicopter was flipped over on the sand near the beach. Images from public broadcaster ABC showed its rotors lying a short distance away.
At the accident site, which is near the popular Sea World marine theme park, the other chopper appeared to be mostly undamaged.
Images of the aftermath showed a bright yellow rescue helicopter landing on the sand nearby, its rotors spinning, as scores of rescuers spread around the area.
Several police and rescue boats were stationed just off the sandbank strewn with the wreckage of the two planes.
“Those two aircraft collided and crash landed on the sandbank just out from Sea World,” Queensland police acting inspector Gary Worrell said at a news conference at the scene.
“As a result of that, four people died today,” he explained. “Three others are in critical condition in the hospital.”
The incident, which was described as a “mid-air collision,” was investigated by Australia’s transport safety bureau.