Thursday 26 April 2018

Miraculous escape for two aboard helicopter as craft crash lands beside pub

Sam Griffin

Two people aboard a helicopter had a miracle escape when they crash landed in Co Longford.

The incident happened around 9pm this evening in the village of Abbeyshrule.

The craft is believed to have actually clipped the side of a pub in the incident.

The helicopter may have been attempting a landing when the rotor hit the side of the Rustic Inn pub.

Emergency services, including gardaí, are at the scene but no one is believed to have been injured in the incident.

Footage has emerged online of the helicopter on its side beside the Royal Canal which runs through the village.

A garda spokesperson said gardaí are preserving the scene for the air accident investigations unit.

A Department of Transport spokesperson said the gardaí had made the Air Accident Investigations Unit (AAIU) aware of the incident and said two investigators are en route to the scene and will be there shortly.

Local Fine Gael councillor Paul Ross said it was “a miracle no one was hurt” because of the location where the helicopter crashed.

“Between the canal, the road and the hotel building, there is actually very little room to manoeuvre so it really is incredible no one has been reported injured,” he said.

He added the area is very scenic, having previously won the Tidy Towns award, is and popular with tourists and said he understood those operating the helicopter may have been taking photographs of the area at the time of the incident.

“There is an air strip near Abbeyshrule and there would be a lot of people who would use that for landing their crafts. There would be helicopter here regularly enough but we haven’t had anything like that.”

It’s understood the helicopter clipped a relatively new part of the Rustic Inn, where there are guest rooms, which was built only in the last year.

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