Crash in­ves­ti­ga­tors reach scene

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

THE Aus­tralian Trans­port Safety Bureau has de­ployed four in­ves­ti­ga­tors from Can­berra and Bris­bane to in­ves­ti­gate the crash of a he­li­copter at Hardy Reef.

A spokesman said a pre­lim­i­nary re­port would be made avail­able by the end of April.

“The ATSB wishes to ex­tend its deep­est sym­pa­thises to the fam­i­lies, friends and col­leagues of those who were killed or in­jured in this tragic he­li­copter ac­ci­dent,” he said.

“The ATSB’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion aims to iden­tify the causal fac­tors of this ac­ci­dent to de­ter­mine what hap­pened with the view of pre­vent­ing some­thing like this hap­pen­ing again.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tors will in­ter­view wit­nesses, ex­am­ine any avail­able recorded data, re­view op­er­a­tional and main­te­nance records and tech­ni­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion.”

A spokesman for the Great Bar­rier Reef Ma­rina Park Au­thor­ity said the mat­ter is now in the hands of the ATSB and po­lice.

“We will work with the safety au­thor­i­ties as re­quired,” he said.

It is un­der­stood the re­moval of the he­li­copter, now 52m un­der wa­ter, could be com­pli­cated by its lo­ca­tion and prox­im­ity to the reef.

The crash on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon claimed the lives of two Hawai­ian tourists.

CHOP­PER DOWN: The site of the crash at Hardy Reef.

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