UPDATE @ 22 March, 6.30 AM | INVESTIGATIONS into a helicopter crash which claimed the lives of two people near the Whitsunday Islands are continuing today.
The Eurocopter 120 plunged into water about 65kms north-east of the Whitsundays about 3.35pm on Wednesday, killing a male and female tourist.
Three other people, including the male pilot and a male and female passenger, also believed to be from overseas, managed to escape with non-life threatening injuries.
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Whitsunday Air Services issued a statement following the tragedy, sending their condolences to the victim’s families.
“We are extremely saddened by this incident and our deepest condolences are with the families of all of the passengers,” the statement reads.
“Whitsunday Air Services is continuing to work with the Queensland Police, the ATSB and CASA to assist with their investigations.
“Whitsunday Air Services will be suspending all operations while a full review process is undertaken.”
It’s not yet known what caused the crash.
Police are continuing to assist the Australian Transport Safety Bureau with the investigation.
Additional reporting by Shanee Dobeson.
EARLIER @ 21 March, 5.00 PM | A HELICOPTER has crashed into the ocean near the Whitsunday Islands, killing at least two people.
Five people are believed to have been on board the aircraft, believed to be a Eurocopter 120, when it came down near Hardy Reef pontoon, northeast of Hamilton Island around 4.30pm.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has since confirmed two people died in the crash.
A third person is said to be in a serious condition, while two others escaped with minor injuries.
Police said the crash site is approximately 65kms north east of the Whitsunday Islands.
“Police Vessel Damien Leeding and other vessels are currently traveling to the site with police and other emergency services,” police said in a statement.
No further information was available at the time of writing.