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Investigation underway after door falls off Air Corps helicopter and lands near Dublin school

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The Irish Army Air Corps door fell from a passing helicopter into the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

The Irish Army Air Corps door fell from a passing helicopter into the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

The Irish Army Air Corps door fell from a passing helicopter into the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

AN investigation is underway after the door of an Air Corps helicopter fell off mid-flight and landed in the grounds of a Dublin school.

The incident happened in the Clondalkin area this evening and gardai are currently at the scene.

It's understood a number of people were on the grounds of Moyle Park College secondary school when the door landed on a green area but no injuries have been reported.

A Garda spokesperson said: "An Garda Síochána were alerted to an item falling from the sky this evening Thursday 21st May, 2020 at approximately 6.20p.m.

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Gardai and members of the army at the scene at the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin where a door fell off an army helicopter. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

Gardai and members of the army at the scene at the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin where a door fell off an army helicopter. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

Gardai and members of the army at the scene at the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin where a door fell off an army helicopter. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

"A number of witnesses contacted Gardaí in Clondalkin to confirm a large item landed in the grounds of Moyle Park College. No persons were injured. Gardaí remain at scene."

The Air Corps helicopter had just completed an air ambulance journey to Tallaght Hospital and was returning to refuel when the incident happened.

During the return trip the door came loose and plummeted several hundred feet towards the ground.

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Gardai and members of the army at the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin where a door fell off an army helicopter. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

Gardai and members of the army at the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin where a door fell off an army helicopter. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

Gardai and members of the army at the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin where a door fell off an army helicopter. Photo by Steve Humphreys, 21st May 2020

A local source told Independent.ie: "The door just fell from the sky and thankfully nobody was hit by it or you'd be looking at a fatality."

The helicopter later managed to land safely and the aircrew were uninjured.

An internal investigation within the Air Corps will now be carried out to establish how the incident occurred.

A Defence Forces spokesperson said that the rear door of an Emergency Aeromedical Service helicopter detached while returning to Casement Aerodrome.

"Nobody on the ground, or in the air, was injured in the incident.The crew of the AW139 helicopter had successfully completed a life saving mission to a Dublin hospital and were returning to Baldonnel for fuel," they said.

"The area in which the door fell was secured by Defence Forces personnel and An Garda Siochana within five minutes of the incident and an investigation team were on scene within thirty minutes. Once the area has been analysed the door will be removed and transported to Baldonnel.

"The EAS service will recommence tomorrow, as normal, with a replacement aircraft and crew. A full investigation will be conducted into the cause of this incident."

A spokesman for Defence Minister Paul Kehoe said that the minister has been fully briefed on the incident and that the matter is being investigated.

Online Editors