Five die as rescue helicopter crashes
31 March 2004
LAS PALMAS – An investigation began Wednesday to discover how five people were killed when a helicopter crashed in Grand Canaria Island while attempting to rescue people injured in a bus accident.
The helicopter crashed Tuesday afternoon about 90 minutes after the bus accident on a remote mountainside.
Three of the five fatalities were helicopter crew while the other two were Dutch tourists who were being taken to hospital.
The pilot was named as Juan Ignacio Hernandez Leon, 48, the doctor was Orlando Rodriguez Brito, 42, and the nurse was 27-year-old Carolina Perez Medina.
The Dutch tourists who died were a married couple named as Wil Vol Bly and Alye Poepjes, who were both 24.
Most of the 33 people on the bus were Dutch tourists, authorities said.
But there were also four French, two Britons, a Spaniard and a German tourist.
At least 20 bus passengers were injured, some sustaining bone fractures and serious bruises.
It appears that when the helicopter was attempting to save the injured people its propellers hit nearby electrical cables, causing the craft to plunge to the ground and catch fire.
The bus crashed down the mountainside while driving through a narrow stretch of road only three metres wide where there are no barriers
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news