Officials reported that two helicopters collided mid-air on Australia's Gold Coast, killing four passengers. Photos from the scene showed one of the helicopter's blades lying on a sand bank. According to police, three more persons are in critical condition. A few steps from the coast, one helicopter was lying on its side on the sand. Images from public broadcaster ABC showed that its rotors were nearby.
The other helicopter appeared to be largely unharmed at the crash scene, which is close to the well-known Sea World marine theme park. Images of the aftermath revealed a bright yellow rescue aircraft had landed nearby, its rotors whirring, with many rescuers strewn about.
Several police and rescue boats waited nearby, just off the sandbank where the two aircraft's debris was scattered. When two planes collided, acting Queensland police service inspector Gary Worrell said, "Those two aircraft have crash landed, and landed, just out from Sea World resort."
Four people have lost their lives today as a result, he said. "Three other patients are critical at the hospital." An investigation into the incident—which Australia's transport safety agency called a "mid-air collision"—was opened. It added that investigators would soon arrive to investigate the debris, map the scene, and recover components for further analysis.
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