Friday, June 23, 2017

McDonnell Douglas MD500E (369E), SX-HBB: Fatal accident occurred June 23, 2017 in Schinias, Attica, Greece

ATHENS, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Two people lost their lives and another person was injured, when a spray helicopter crashed in a wetland at the outskirts of Schinias seaside resort, some 45 kilometers northeast of Athens, Greek authorities said on Friday.

"The pilot named D.P. and a passenger named Chr. V. were retrieved dead by the Fire Brigade's rescue squad," according to an e-mailed statement from the Fire Brigade's headquarters.

The third passenger of the helicopter, named E.D., a university student on an internship program who survived the crash, was rescued by local residents, who rushed to the site, according to the press release.

The young man was transferred to an Athens hospital and his condition was not serious, Attica Region Vice Governor Petros Filippou told Greek national news agency AMNA.

The student, 22, has suffered "medium-level chest and orthopedic injuries which do not currently require surgical intervention and he is in stable condition," the hospital said in a statement.

The two victims were later identified as the pilot Dimitris Prentzas and wetland guard Christoforos Voulgarelis.

According to Filippou, when the aerial spraying against mosquitoes was completed, the pilot took on board the student and the guard to fly with him over the wetland. However, the helicopter hit electricity wires and crashed. The circumstances of the crash are being investigated.

Filippou told Xinhua and other media that the pilot was very experienced and knew the area.

"He was an experienced pilot who had retired from the Air Force... I had met him. He was working here for several years. He did not just show up today. It was not that this was his first time and he did not know the place," the official stressed.

"The Fire Brigade service of Nea Makri which was closer to the site was mobilized immediately. Nine vehicles and special rescue teams reached the site of the crash, as some citizens who were on the spot had already intervened trying to retrieve the people," Constantinos Giovas, Head of Attica's Fire Brigade, said on his part.

The final moments of the passengers on board were captured on camera, as the guard was broadcasting live the flight on his Facebook account, local media, such as news portal, reported.

"Shift from high altitude" read the caption Voulgarelis posted with the short video which ended abruptly.

Costas Dostis, a friend of the guard, told Xinhua near the site of the crash that Voulgarelis was a hardworking person, an elite bodybuilder living in nearby Marathon city, the birthplace of the Marathon race. Christoforos who is leaving behind a seven-year-old son was a man who loved action, Dostis said.

"We knew Christoforos, he was from Marathon. We knew him very well. We grew up together. He was a great person. We know his entire family and it is a pity that he died this way," he said.

"Such flights are conducted in very low altitude so that the spraying can be done in a certain manner (to be effective)," Dostis added.

The Region of Attica, as well as political parties, expressed deep condolences to the families of the victims in statements.

The helicopter belonged to the fleet of a private company which was hired by local authorities to spray insecticide for mosquitoes.

According to the Region of Attica press release, the helicopter had just conducted the fifth round of spraying and all safety measures had been taken.

Live το βίντεο από τη λήψη του γνωστού Μαραθωνίτη Βουλγαρέλη Άκη υπάλληλο ασφαλείας του υγροβιότοπου ο οποίος είχε την ατυχία να βρίσκεται στο ελικόπτερο και να κάνει live μετάδοση την ώρα που συνέβει το τραγικό δυστύχημα.

Τραγωδία το πρωί στον υγροβιότοπο του Σχινιά. Ψεκαστικό ελικόπτερο ιδιωτικής εταιρείας κατέπεσε στην περιοχή με αποτέλεσμα να σκοτωθούν οι δύο από τους τρεις επιβαίνοντες. Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, από τα τρία άτομα πλήρωμα, ο ένας απεγκλωβίστηκε αμέσως, ενώ οι άλλοι δύο απεγκλωβίστηκαν χωρίς τις αισθήσεις τους λίγη ώρα μετά τις 10 το πρωί. Το ΕΚΑΒ που τους παρέλαβε, διαπίστωσε ότι είναι νεκροί.

Το ελικόπτερο συμμετείχε σε πρόγραμμα ψεκασμών της αντιπεριφέρειας Ανατολικής Αττικής για την καταπολέμηση των κουνουπιών. Στο μίλησε ο αντιπεριφερειάρχης Ανατολικής Αττικής, Πέτρος Φιλίππου, ο οποίος βρίσκεται επί τόπου και εξήγησε πώς σημειώθηκε η τραγωδία: «Το περιστατικό έγινε εκτός υπηρεσίας. Αφού τελείωσε τη ρίψη ο χειριστής, ένας φοιτητής που συμμετέχει σε 6μηνο πρόγραμμα στην περιφέρεια ζήτησε να κάνουν μία βόλτα για να δει τη διαδικασία. Τότε, και ο υπάλληλος ασφαλείας του υγροβιότοπου ζήτησε να μπει και εκείνος. Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, έπεσαν σε καλώδια της ΔΕΗ».

Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, ο χειριστής ήταν συνταξιούχος πιλότος της Πολεμικής Αεροπορίας, ηλικίας γύρω στα 55,

Η Πυροσβεστική Υπηρεσία ειδοποιήθηκε για το συμβάν στις 9:48 το πρωί. Επί τόπου έσπευσαν 27 πυροσβέστες με 9 οχήματα καθώς και ελικόπτερο του Ναυτικού, οι οποίοι συμμετείχαν στη δύσκολη επιχείρηση λόγω τους βαλτώδους σημείου.

Επίσης, το Πολεμικό Ναυτικό συμμετείχε στην επιχείρηση έρευνας και διάσωσης με ένα ελικόπτερο του Πολεμικού Ναυτικού ( S70B, AEGEAN HAWK) και έναν δύτη, μετά από αίτημα του Ενιαίου Κέντρου Συντονισμού Έρευνας και Διάσωσης.

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