Four dead after two helicopters crash near Sea World in Australia

The crash happened at Sea World on the Queensland Gold Coast on Monday morning - DAVE HUNT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The crash happened at Sea World on the Queensland Gold Coast on Monday morning - DAVE HUNT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Four people were killed and several others injured when two helicopters collided in front of hundreds of holidaymakers in one of Australia’s premier tourist resorts on Monday morning.

The accident happened at Sea World on the Queensland Gold Coast as one helicopter, which was taking off, hit another which was coming in to land.

One of the aircraft plummeted onto a nearby sandbank, ending up on its roof and trapping its passengers.

The other helicopter made an emergency landing but much of its cockpit screen was badly damaged.

Beachgoers and yachtsmen rushed to the aid of casualties.

Police who confirmed the death of four passengers, said three others were taken to hospital in a critical condition.

All those who were killed or seriously injured were from the same helicopter.

Police inspect one of the helicopters which plummeted onto a nearby sandbank - DAVE HUNT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/Shutterstock
Police inspect one of the helicopters which plummeted onto a nearby sandbank - DAVE HUNT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/Shutterstock

Acting inspector Gary Worrell of Queensland Police praised members of the public who tried to remove the injured passengers and commenced first aid.

“It is a difficult scene,” he told reporters.

“Due to the area it was located on the sandbank, it was difficult to gain access to get our emergency services to the scene.”

Amii McDermott, an eye witness, who was at the nearby theme park said she was surprised how close the helicopters had been just before the crash.

“Then I heard one of the engines in one of the helicopters start to rev like the pilot was taking some sort of emergency action,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Helicopter crashes on sandbank - Australian Broadcasting Corp
Helicopter crashes on sandbank - Australian Broadcasting Corp

She described how the tail of the helicopter coming in to land hit the front of the one taking off.

“It started smashing into it…and then the tail pretty much snapped off.”

The accident happened on a public holiday with thousands of people attracted to the Gold Coast at this time of year, the height of the Australian summer.