By Steve Dellar  |  03-22-2018   News
Photo credit: @sunriseon7 | Twitter

Two US tourists visiting the Australian Great Barrier Reef died when their helicopter crashed. The 79-year-old man and 65-year-old woman, both from Hawaii, were staying on the Hamilton Island and died when their helicopter had an accident near Hardy Reef Pontoon.

The five-seat, single-engine Eurocopter EC120 Colibri crashed some 40 miles northeast of the Whitsunday Islands.

Local police are investigating the crash as it is the second incident in four months for the company that operates the service.

Also on board were three other people who all were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, the 35-year-old male pilot and two other American tourists (a 34-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, both originating from Colorado).

Police inspector Mr Ian Haughton explained to Australian reporters that all the American passengers knew each other, but would not give any further details: "I'd rather keep that until we can be assured that the next of kin of those involved have been advised."

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It has been revealed the two tourists killed in a helicopter crash in the Whitsunday Islands were Americans. <a href="https://twitter.com/njkelly9?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@njkelly9</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9News?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9News</a> <a href="https://t.co/IGrKAhG23Y">pic.twitter.com/IGrKAhG23Y</a></p>&mdash; Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) <a href="https://twitter.com/9NewsQueensland/status/976686205038338049?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 22, 2018</a></blockquote>

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"This is a traumatic experience for any involved in the situation," the inspector continued.

"It was a normal flight… on this occasion, something went wrong and the consequences are tragic. You couldn't begin to imagine the impact on those people."

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Aviation investigators are on their way to remote North Queensland after a deadly helicopter crash at the Whitsunday Islands, which killed two international tourists. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/7News?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#7News</a> <a href="https://t.co/ORYLE0rtbn">pic.twitter.com/ORYLE0rtbn</a></p>&mdash; 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) <a href="https://twitter.com/7NewsMelbourne/status/976632576197537793?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 22, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Whitsunday Air Services, the helicopter company that operated the flights, suspended all operations as authorities investigate the cause of the deadly crash. The management of the company released a statement: "We are extremely saddened by this incident and our deepest condolences are with the families of all of the passengers."

Source:

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2018/03/21/breaking-news/2-passengers-from-hawaii-die-in-helicopter-crash-on-great-barrier-reef/

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