Mournes Helicopter Crash Injures Policemen

The Air Accident Investigation Branch has been informed after four PSNI officers were hurt today when a leased police helicopter involved in investigating a fatal weekend crash in the Mourne Mountains overturned.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable, Alistair Finlay said the helicopter was involved in a police clearance operation in connection with Saturday's crash.

It happened just after taking off but a police spokesperson said those on board were able to walk away from the wreckage and are not believed to be seriously injured at this stage.

However they have been taken to hospital for treatment. On board were a pilot, photographer, observer and an officer from the police emergency team.

It is understood the aircraft crashed near the site of the Saturday's tragedy when three men from southeast England, including a close friend of Prince Charles, died when their helicopter crashed near Hilltown.

Speaking about the incident involving a police helicopter this morning, Acting Chair of the NI Policing Board, Brian Rea said: "I have been spoken to the Chief Constable this morning about the accident involving a police helicopter in the Mourne Mountains and am relieved that none of the four police officers on board were seriously injured.
News Image
"Police officers often have to work in difficult environments and this accident shows just how difficult those conditions can be as these officers were involved in a clear-up operation following Saturday's crash that sadly claimed the lives of three people.

"I wish all four officers a speedy recovery from any injuries they received in the accident," he said.

Also commenting,

South Down MLA Jim Wells has wished those injured in the helicopter accident a speedy recovery. Mr Wells, who was close to the scene at the time of today's crash said that the difficult terrain of the Mournes probably played a part in what happened.

"I was close to the scene of this latest incident involving a helicopter in the Mournes and everyone will be relieved that it appears no-one was seriously injured.

"The community in the area were deeply shocked at the tragic accident which occurred over the weekend and today's incident demonstrates the dangers which can be associated with this mode of transport.

"I understand it was a police helicopter involved in the accident today and these were four officers were injured as they carried out their duties.

"It would seem that difficult conditions in the Mournes may have played some role in the accident, and this also demonstrates the dedication of all the emergency and rescue services involved in the clear-up operation after the weekend," he said.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 December 2018
Police Disciplined Over Coleraine Pub Fight
PSNI failings compromised an investigation into off-duty police officers involved in a fight with members of the public, the Police Ombudsman has found.
29 January 2018
Loyalist Supergrass Sentenced To Over Six Years Behind Bars
Loyalist supergrass Gary Haggarty has been sentenced to six and a half years behind bars for 202 terror offences. The former loyalist paramilitary turned police informer previously pleaded guilty to five murders. He was originally sentenced to 35 years, however he had the time reduced after he co-operated with the police.
10 January 2018
Man Arrested Over Attempted Murder Of Off-Duty Police Officer
A man has been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of an off-duty police officer in Co L'Derry. A viable under-car bomb was discovered outside a house in the Ardanlee area on 22 February last year. Army bomb disposal experts attended the scene. No-one was injured.
13 June 2014
Police Appeal For Witnesses To Fatal Road Crash
The PSNI have appealed for witnesses to a road crash in which a 78-year-old woman has died. The accident happened at about 14:15 on Thursday on the Warrenpoint Road in Newry and involved two cars. Two men and a woman are being treated in hospital following the crash. Police have appealed for anyone in the area at the time to contact them.
18 June 2018
PSNI Appeal After Assault At Lagan Valley Hospital
The PSNI have issued an appeal for information over an incident at Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn in February. Police believed the attack involved up to five people on the morning of Tuesday, 27 February. Police are keen to speak to anyone who was in the hospital's A&E department and observed anything on the morning in question.