BREAKING UPDATE: Watch passenger telling pilot he was going to collide with the other helicopter

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17:10 (January 4) – Australian Channel News 7 has obtained footage taken by a passenger in the helicopter that was coming in to land, which shows another passenger warning the pilot of the impending danger.

The passenger was taking video of the scenery as they were coming in to land at which another passenger can be seen leaning over and tapping the pilot on the shoulder, warning them of the impending danger. The passenger is then seen bracing as if expecting a bump.

The window then shatters and the video stops.

All the people in the helicopter suffered injuries but all survived the incident, which cost the lives of four in the helicopter they collided with.  Onboard were Riaan and Elmarie Steenberg and Marle and Edward Swart, all from Auckland in New Zealand, pilot Michael James, and another unnamed passenger.

Elmarie Steenberg posted on Facebook saying: “I am still in hospital in the Gold Coast, recovering from my injuries.

“All I can say is thank you to God for sparing all of us.”

Her son took to Instagram to thank the pilot for the safe landing saying:  “Thx (sic) to the pilot for saving my parents from the crash and all prayers to the family who lost their loved ones.”

Angus Mitchell, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner, has said the helicopter which was in the process of taking off was in the air for less than 20 seconds before the crash occurred. He confirmed that investigations are ongoing and the footage would be of assistance.


07:10 (January 3) – The British couple who lost their lives in the helicopter crash have been named as Ron and Dianne Hughes, aged 65 and 67.

The couple who are from Merseyside died along with the pilot Ashley Jenkinson and a young Sydney mum, Vaness Tadros who was just 36 years old. Tadros´husband is believed not to have been on the flight.

Tadros´10-year-old son Nicholas was one of those critically injured in the crash and remains in hospital, where he has had multiple operations and is currently on life support.

Winnie da Silva, 33, a woman from Geelong, and her nine-year-old son have been confirmed as the other two who were critically injured in the crash and they too remain in the hospital where they are being treated for their injuries.


22:08 (January 2) – A foreign office spokesperson has confirmed that two British were amongst the four that died in today´s helicopter crash.

The names of the two Brits have yet to be released with the only additional confirmation being that of Sea World´s Chief Pilot, Ash Jenkinson who was also killed in the crash. The 40-year-old was said to be well-liked and very popular with holidaymakers. He leaves behind a wife and son.

Those that died are said to have all been travelling in the same helicopter which flipped after the collision, which an eye witness told the Gold Coast Bulletin happened after they clipped each other.

Emma Burch said: “Massive bang heard right through the Broadwater Tourist Park then the swooshing as the one that lost control hit the water and broke apart.

“It´s just awful everyone is in shock.”

Tor Kumpel said he and his wife saw the crash from where they were swimming. He said: “I could see two helicopters. One was coming up and the other down and the back rotor collected the one coming down.

“It was the only helicopter that crashed. The one coming up, it was horrific to see.”

Sea World has yet to formally confirm that is helicopters were involved in the crash, with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau on site conducting their investigations.


10:06 (January 2) – The police have suggested that the accident occurred as one helicopter was taking off and the other was coming into land.

Acting Inspector Gary Worrell of the Queensland Police said thank members of the public were quickly on the scene for which he thanked them. He added that accessing the one helicopter had been made more difficult by its location, having come down on a sandbank.

He added: “One airframe had the windscreen removed and it has landed safely on the island, the other airframe had crashed and it was upside down.

“Members of the public and police tried to remove the people and they commenced first aid and tried to help these people to safety.”

The number of people in the helicopters has been confirmed by Janey Shearman, from Queensland Ambulance Service,as being 13 adding that the three people critically injured were suffering from “multi-system trauma.”

Six people have sustained minor injuries mainly from flying glass as a result of the impact. They have all been taken to the hospital for treatment.

Reported by Sky News on Monday, January 2 the collision is said to have happened around 2 pm in good weather and at a time when the park and the area were said to be busy. Australian children are currently enjoying their school holidays.

The police in Queensland said that four people had died in the incident and that three 0thers, who were taken to hospital, are in serious condition. 13 people are said to have died or been injured according to the local ambulance service.

ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus confirmed that air investigators are on their way to the scene and would conduct a full investigation into the accident that left four dead and three critically injured.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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