Sea World helicopter crash: parking areas closed to prevent visitors from viewing scene, witnesses speak out

Parts of Sea World have been cordoned off after two helicopters collided outside the theme park, killing four people, three fighting for their lives and others injured.

Sea World on the Gold Coast has taken the step to stop park visitors from viewing the crash site while traumatized witnesses speak about what happened.

Witness Emma Burch told Daily Mail Australia how the accident unfolded around 2pm on Monday.

“From what we’ve seen, one took off and the other landed. They circumcised each other,’ she said.

“A massive bang was heard through the middle of Broadwater Tourist Park, then the whoosh as whoever was losing control hit the water and broke apart.

“It’s just awful. Everyone is in shock.”

Sea World Helicopters expressed its condolences to those involved in the crash and said it is working with authorities to find out what happened.

A helicopter involved in a crash is seen on a sandbar just outside Sea World theme park on the Gold Coast

A helicopter involved in a crash is seen on a sandbar just outside Sea World theme park on the Gold Coast

It is estimated that hundreds of witnesses saw the shock unfold on air.

“I heard a bang and saw smoke coming out of one of the helicopters. It smoked and wobbled to the ground,” said one.

“One person asked if it was part of the Sea World show.”

Local Tor Kumpel and his wife were swimming at the nearby Broadwater Estuary when he saw the helicopters crash into each other.

“I could see two helicopters. One came up and the other came down and the rear rotor picked up the one coming down,” he told the Courier Mail.

Mr Kumpel said the helicopter taking off crashed but the helicopter overhead was able to land.

“It was just a helicopter that crashed. The one who would come. It was horrible to see,” he added.

‘The (pilot) who was in the other one landed that.’

The two helicopters involved in the collision can be seen on the sandbar on Queensland's Gold Coast

The two helicopters involved in the collision can be seen on the sandbar on Queensland’s Gold Coast

A man named John, who was on holiday in the Gold Coast with his wife and young son, called Melbourne’s 3AW radio about the tragic scene.

“I’m at Sea World right now and it looks like there’s been a massive crash involving two helicopters,” he said.

“Basically everything is happening here at the moment, ambulances, fire engines. I was walking my son and some Sea World staff ran outside.

“I didn’t really know what happened, but there was a massive bang,” he said.

Marine Rescue raced to the sandbar after two helicopters (pictured) collided on Monday

Marine Rescue raced to the sandbank after two helicopters (pictured) collided on Monday

When two helicopters crashed, four people died, three fought for their lives and others were injured

When two helicopters crashed, four people died, three fought for their lives and others were injured

John said Sea World has now closed that side of the park so people can’t see the side of the water there. It’s actually pretty scary stuff.

“It happened right in front of the theme park, apparently one took off and the other flew over or something…

“It’s literally right in front of the theme park, we could hear it on this site.”

John described what he heard as “a massive, massive bang. It was just huge. I’m not sure if it was the propellers or whatever that was hitting each other.’

Rescue workers are pictured at the scene of a helicopter crash over the Broadwater Estuary in the Gold Coast

Rescue workers are pictured at the scene of a helicopter crash over the Broadwater Estuary in the Gold Coast

The crash between two helicopters (pictured) occurred around 2 p.m. Queensland time

The crash between two helicopters (pictured) occurred around 2 p.m. Queensland time

He saw a woman “and her son there in tears at the helipad” and speculated she may have had family members in one of the helicopters.

“There was no announcement over the park’s public address system what had happened,” he said.

“The theme park is basically running as usual. They only really blocked this page so no one is looking out over the water for obvious reasons.

“They’re just trying to keep this thing running normally, I guess.”

A NSW woman saw the crash unfold as she queued for the Vortex ride at Sea World.

“My son said two helicopters came at the same time and I had never seen that, but then one turned and hit the other with its tail,” Amii McDermott, from the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Police officers hold up a white sheet to protect a helicopter crash victim

Police officers hold up a white sheet to protect a helicopter crash victim

Police officers are pictured at the scene of a crash between two helicopters on Monday afternoon

Police officers are pictured at the scene of a crash between two helicopters on Monday afternoon

Ms McDermott said she had never seen anything like it and she and her family were shocked and appalled.

The 42-year-old rescue services chief said there was “debris everywhere, the tail fell off one of them and the helicopter crashed into the ground at full speed.”

She said although her toddlers don’t know what they saw, her older children do.

Sea World Helicopters expressed its shock and sympathy for those involved in the crash.

Investigators look at the damage done to one of the two downed helicopters

Investigators look at the damage done to one of the two downed helicopters

A lifeboat is pictured next to one of the downed helicopters on Queensland's Gold Coast

A lifeboat is pictured next to one of the downed helicopters on Queensland’s Gold Coast

“We and the entire aviation community are shocked by what has happened and our sincere condolences go out to everyone involved and especially the loved ones and family of the deceased,” a spokesman said.

“We are working with all authorities including the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Queensland Police. As this is now a police investigation, we are unable to provide any further information at this time.’

The ATSB said it had already begun an investigation into the clash.

“Traffic safety investigators with experience in helicopter operations, maintenance and survivability engineering are being deployed from the ATSB offices in Brisbane and Canberra and are expected to arrive at the scene of the accident from Monday afternoon,” said ATSB Chief Inspector Angus Mitchell.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11591423/Sea-World-helicopter-crash-Park-areas-closed-stop-visitors-looking-scene-witnesses-speak-out.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Sea World helicopter crash: parking areas closed to prevent visitors from viewing scene, witnesses speak out

Emma Colton

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