4 dead after Gold Coast midair helicopter collision

BRISBANE, 2 Jan 2023:

A mid-air collision between two helicopters at around 2pm local time near Sea World theme park on Australia’s Gold Coast left four people killed, police said today.

Queensland Police Service acting inspector Gary Worrell described the site as a “difficult scene” during a press conference, adding that three others were in critical condition after the crash.

It’s understood the seven people killed or critically injured were travelling in the same helicopter. Those in the other helicopter had minor injuries.

Queensland Ambulance said it was assessing 13 people, and later added that “eight patients were transported to Gold Coast University Hospital, and one patient was transported to Queensland Children’s Hospital following the earlier incident at #MainBeach.”

Worrell said it appears one helicopter was taking off and one was landing when the incident happened.

One of the helicopters plunged to the ground, landing upside down on a sandbank, while the other managed to land safely.

Photos show the landed chopper with a Sea World logo and missing its front windscreen.

Members of the public and police tried to help those in the accident, which occurred on a busy beach near Sea World tourist attraction during the holiday period and on a windy day.

“Those people were confronted with a significant incident,” Worrell said, thanking all those involved in the rescue.

The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau is investigating the collision and appealed for witnesses.