Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Eagle falls helicopter 118 in Happy Camp: death, all 6 people on board – The Republic

STILL a tragedy in Abruzzo. After the bad weather, the earthquake and the avalanche that destroyed the hotel Rigopiano in Farindola, today a helicopter of 118 is precipitated in l’aquila, between the capital and Campo Felice. The aircraft crashed after it had recovered a wound on a ski slope in Happy Camp in an area heavily covered by snow and mountains to about 1,600 m altitude, at km 14 of highway 696. On board six people, including 2 members of the mountain Rescue service, a doctor and an operator. They are all dead.

The doctor-resuscitator in the past few days had provided relief to Rigopiano. Some of the helpers should bring to the valley the first bodies, it is not known if it is completely on foot or by using the snow cat that, at the moment it is stopped half way, between the plain and the site of the accident because they can not go beyond the quota.


The helicopter crashed in the locality of the Old Mine, a few kilometres from Campo Felice, in a gully near Casamaina, in the municipality of Lucoli. The area is unreachable with the means, and then the rescuers, hampered by fog and snow, they went ahead on foot. Arrived at 500 meters from the place where it is reported that, the middle is destroyed, and to find it they had to use the infrared.

The witness. “a Little before 11 I was with my friend and we saw a helicopter flying at low altitude and we wondered why. Then we thought about a rescue operation on our territory is very vast with many hamlets. Shortly after it disappeared into the fog”. This is the testimony of the Husband of the mayor of Lucoli, Gianluca Marrocchi. “But – he says – we did not hear any roar”.

ski instructors for aid. as soon as the news spread of the incident are activated, the ski instructors of Campo Felice and Ovindoli. “The masters of the ski are placed at the disposal of the rescuers, – has told the chairman of the board of the regional Abruzzo ski instructors, Francesco Donato, the mayor of Roccaraso – with every means and with seal skins. The area is wild and there are high piles of snow”.

one kilometre from the slopes. The helicopter would be precipitated from a height of 600 meters and the accident occurred on the way back to the hospital of The Eagle, after the aircraft had taken on board the person rescued.

The impact would have occurred about a kilometre from the ski slopes of Campo Felice. The helicopter of 118 is located in the middle of the coast on the steep mountain: “crashed in the locality of Monte Cefalone, not far from the plain of Campo Felice. It had intervened in the area of the plant to a normal relief after a skiing accident, and probably had already done the surgery and she was coming back,” said Mauro Cordeschi, the director of the facilities of Campo Imperatore, a consultant of the Town of l’aquila in the framework of Commission Avalanche. “It will take time to understand the dynamics of the accident, but we can speculate that the crash happened because of the fog and because this is a known path. In the past few days, during the operations for the emergency in bad weather, also means the air force, led by very experienced pilots have had some difficulty in this point. We are in a state of shock because we know all the operators that were on board.”

Relief difficult. The helicopter disappeared after removing one skier injured on the track. The aircraft, explain the sources of the rescuers, was flying in an area with a dense blanket of fog and low clouds. You heard a loud crash. Aid trying to reach the place also by means spalaneve and means of the army even including a ‘caterpillar’. The sky in Happy Camp it is cloudy, and the temperature of -2 and, to a degree.

Signal crash. The helicopter of 118 is an AW139 brands EC-KJT and would launch the signal of the crash while he was in town Casamaina. He was engaged in a normal flight emergency and was not part of the helicopters, which in these days are engaged on the avalanche that struck the hotel Rigopiano.

Open an inquiry. The national Agency for the safety of the flight has opened an investigation on the matter: the Agency – that has specific expertise in aircraft accident – has already prepared to send their own inspector on the scene of the accident. Meanwhile, the magistrate, holder of the investigations on the crash, Simonetta Ciccarelli, gave the order to capture as much as possible images of the wreck and of the place of the accident. A team of three firefighters started to walk closer and will try to start a drone equipped with a camera, and do it closer to the scrap. There are doubts that we can complete the task with success because of the strong gusts of wind that rage about the area, and also for the fog.

the helicopter crashed
campo felice
the Aw 139
the eagle

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