INEM air crash – replacement helicopter and team already in place
The INEM medical emergency helicopter that crashed on Saturday night, killing all four on board, was replaced on Monday afternoon with another aircraft, supplied by Babcock, operating out of the Macedo de Cavaleiros base.
The new team consists of two pilots, a doctor and a nurse, a similar compliment to the one that died when the Agusta A109S crashed in bad weather in the Pias mountain range, in the municipality of Valongo near Porto.
The swift commissioning of the replacement helicopter and crew means that the regional cover was affected only for around 48-hours during which period there were no call-outs.
The new flying doctor spoke to CMTV, “Perhaps the best tribute we can pay to our colleagues who unfortunately died, is to continue the service they were doing which is needed for the entire population.”
The new INEM nurse gave an emotional speech with a message of strength for the family of the four victims, remembering that she had the opportunity to work with the nurse who was on the helicopter that crashed.
“We feel cherished by the entire population,” agreed the new team.
The president of INEM, Luís Meira, made a point of being present at the replacement of the service at the Macedo de Cavaleiros air base, saying that this changeover had to be fast even though it was at a particularly difficult and painful time.
Helicopter supplier, Babcock, holds insurance cover of more than €50 million with the families of the deceased in line to receive around €500,000 each.
The INEM service does not have personal accident insurance for its service providers and relies on the supplier’s obligatory insurabnce cover in the event of an accident.