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Near miss as helicopter door falls off mid-flight

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Landing site: A member of the Air Corps inspects the door that fell into the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Landing site: A member of the Air Corps inspects the door that fell into the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Landing site: A member of the Air Corps inspects the door that fell into the grounds of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Disaster was narrowly avoided 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 yesterday evening.

It is understood a number of people who were on the grounds of Moyle Park College secondary school had a lucky escape when the door landed on a green area near them.

Green Party Councillor Peter Kavanagh said it was a miracle that nobody had been hurt.

"It's absolutely shocking," he said.

"The school gates have been left open during lockdown and people had been using it to get a bit of exercise, so it could have been incredibly dangerous.

"During the day the gates are open and people walk in there and the pitches are open."

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.

The Defence Forces said in a statement that "nobody on the ground, or in the air, was injured. A full investigation will be conducted into the cause of this incident."

A spokesman for Defence Minister Paul Kehoe said the minister had been fully briefed and the matter was being investigated.

Irish Independent