Bal­loon con­trib­uted to fa­tal he­li­copter crash

Evening Express (City Final) - - Uk & Abroad -

THE “close prox­im­ity” of a sur­veil­lance bal­loon to a foot­ball pitch in Afghanistan on which a Royal Air Force he­li­copter crashed when try­ing to land con­trib­uted to the deaths of five peo­ple, a coro­ner has con­cluded.

Flight Lieu­tenants Alan Scott and Geraint “Roly” Roberts died af­ter the Puma Mk 2 he­li­copter col­lided with the bal­loon’s tether and crashed near Nato’s Res­o­lute Sup­port mis­sion head­quar­ters in the Afghan cap­i­tal Kabul on Oc­to­ber 11 2015. They were among the five peo­ple killed, which in­cluded 44-year-old French-born se­cu­rity worker Gor­don Emin and two US per­son­nel. An in­quest at Ox­ford­shire Coro­ner’s Court heard the Puma air­craft, fly­ing in for­ma­tion be­hind another Puma, had to cir­cle the he­li­copter land­ing site (HLS) be­cause there were peo­ple play­ing foot­ball on it.ox­ford­shire coro­ner Dar­ren Salter said there had been a “loss of sit­u­a­tion aware­ness”.

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