Fatal helicopter crash debris removed

Published Sunday, 16 March 2014
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Wreckage has been removed from the scene of the helicopter crash which killed Lord Ballyedmond, founder of Norbrook Laboratories, and three others in England on Thursday.

Fatal helicopter crash debris removed
The crashed helicopter is removed from the scene, near Lord Ballyedmond's home. (© UTV)

For several hours, teams from across the country prepared the helicopter to leave the site. The flight recorder from the helicopter had already been removed and taken away for examination.

The privately owned Agusta Westland AW139 helicopter came down in thick fog in a field in Gillingham, near Beccles, on Thursday at 7.30pm near the Dundalk-born entrepreneur's stately home.

Lord Ballyedmond, Dr Edward Haughey, was one of Northern Ireland's richest men and founded the world-renowned Norbrook Laboratories, which specialises in veterinary medicines and employs more than 1,000 people in Newry.

One of the men who died was his colleague and site foreman Declan Small, 42, who came from Mayobridge, Co Down.

The men died alongside two pilots - Carl Dickerson, chief pilot at Haughey Air Ltd, and Lee Hoyle, a co-pilot at the company which was owned by the 70-year-old Conservative peer.

On Sunday, at nearby Kirby Cane church prayers were said and candles lit for the four dead men.

Since the fatal crash, it has emerged that Haughey Air Ltd had lodged a writ against Agusta Westland over concerns about a helicopter it supplied.

The case was lodged in September last year and is understood to have included concerns about in-flight mapping systems.

A spokesman for Agusta Westland said the company could not comment on possible defects with Lord Ballyedmond's AW139 VIP helicopter, but said it was investigating.

Norfolk Police confirmed that the helicopter took off from Gillingham Hall shortly before the crash.

The crash site is an area of between 150 and 200 square metres, including ploughed fields, the force said.

All four people on board the helicopter were pronounced dead at the scene after it crashed in a field containing a wooded area, Norfolk Police said.

© UTV News
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