By Morrison O.G. Sayon
Nine persons including three crew members yesterday survived a helicopter crash near the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
On Tuesday April 22, 2014, a United Nations helicopter marked RA-224-U flew down low in Tinker’s Village and hit a building under construction before crashing in an open field. Report says the UN helicopter had just picked up from the James Spriggs Payne Airfield for the Southeastern part of Liberia.
The helicopter was to make a brief stop in Fish Town, River Gee County before making its final destination to Grand Kru County, reports gathered on the scene of the incident said. Following the afternoon incident all nine persons on board including the three crew members were safely evacuated by UN personnel.
UN and Liberian Government officials are yet to comment on the cause of the crash but immediately following the incident UN investigators; Liberia Aviation Authority officials as well as officers of the Liberia National Police began probing the situation on the scene.
The survivors were rushed from the scene of the incident in ambulances to the hospital. Information gathered says the pilot of the UN Copter sustained serious head injury while the other occupants sustained minor injuries. Other information said that the pilot’s legs got broken but managed to open the copter to allow the others out.
Parts of the helicopter got damaged but the general condition seems to be good. The tail of the copter got broken as it hit against the newly constructed building, while all the tires disintegrated from the helicopter due to the severe force it went down with.
This latest incident is believed to be the second UNMIL helicopter crash in Liberia since the mission took over peace keeping operations in the country. Also in February of last year a Guinean Military plane crashed in Margibi County while en route to Liberia. The Guinean Chief of Army along with senior Guinean military personnel was killed in the crash. They were to participate in Liberia’s Armed Forces Day celebration in Monrovia.
Meanwhile, investigation into the crash has begun. United Nations and Liberian Government securities are carrying on the investigation. Investigation into the crash continues.