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Three Die In Helicopter Crash

It is believed that three Coventry people including a pilot from Baginton Airport were killed in an horrific helicopter crash that occurred yesterday evening.

The aircraft came down near Bolton in Lancashire after encountering severe bad weather and radioing for assistance at around 5pm yesterday evening.

Although police will not confirm the identity of the victims until their families have been informed they have revealed that all three are from the Midlands.

The helicopter crashed into high moorland shortly after taking off from Blackpool bound for Coventry Airport, sparking a massive mountain search and rescue operation.

Chief inspector Peter Smith from Lancashire police admitted that the rescue process was in vain.

He said: 

"Two of the men are believed to have been killed on impact and the third was airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital after we managed to get an RAF helicopter into where the wreckage was but he later died.

"The weather conditions were bad and it took several hours to locate the wreckage although fortunately the cloud lifted and we found the downed aircraft.

"For the rest of today and the coming days there will be an accident investigation team on the scene to determine exactly what happened.

"The weather conditions were quite fierce last night but they often are at this time of year in this area, and the fog is quite dense over the moorland.

"All three men worked in the helicopter industry and were in their 30s."

Mountain rescue teams were remaining at the scene of the accident to keep public and media away from the wreckage, as the bodies remained at the scene until this morning when the RAF helicopter could be taken close enough in.

The single engined R44 helicopter had been chartered from Blackpool Airport by Coventry Helicopter Centre for training use.

It is the first accident that the company has had in its six year history and all flights were today cancelled as a mark of respect.

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Coventry Helicopter Centre / 2 Feb 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM