Netcare helicopter crash: Sacaa investigators visiting site daily to collect evidence

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The Netcare 911 air ambulance was reduced to mere ashes after an eye witness reported that it exploded into flame in mid-air. (The Witness)
The Netcare 911 air ambulance was reduced to mere ashes after an eye witness reported that it exploded into flame in mid-air. (The Witness)
  • SA Civil Aviation Authority investigators are collecting evidence at the site of a fatal helicopter crash in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
  • The crash killed the pilot and four healthcare workers, who were on their way to transport a critically ill patient to Johannesburg.
  • The accident is under investigation.

The SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) is currently collecting evidence which may shed some light on what caused a helicopter crash that killed four healthcare workers and a pilot this week.

The two doctors, a nurse, a paramedic and pilot were en route to pick up a critically ill patient in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday when the helicopter crashed in Bergville. The patient was to be transported to Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

Netcare identified the victims as Dr Kgopotso Rudolph Mononyane, an anaesthetist, Dr Curnick Siyabonga Mahlangu, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and Mpho Xaba, a specialist cardiothoracic and transplant theatre nurse.

Also killed were Sinjin Joshua Farrance, an advanced life support paramedic at Netcare 911, and pilot Mark Stoxreiter, who worked for National Airways Corporation.

"Since the accident happened, the team of aircraft accident and incident investigators have been at the site on a daily basis collecting evidence, which will help in determining the cause of the accident," Kabelo Ledwaba, Sacaa spokesperson, said.

"This evidence collection phase is crucial as it helps in defining the size and scope of the investigation as well as estimating the anticipated time frame for the completion of a final accident investigation report. An appeal is made to all concerned to kindly give the investigating team the space and time to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the actual cause of the accident."

The investigation into the cause of the accident was continuing.

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