A firefighting helicopter was involved in a crash in the South Korean city of Gwangju that killed five people, reports Fox News. The incident happened on Thursday, July 17, and snuffed out the lives of five people on board the helicopter. The helicopter crash also resulted in injuries to a pedestrian who was near the crash site at the time. Surveillance and dashcam cameras have managed to capture chilling footage of the helicopter crash. In one of the videos, you can clearly see the doomed helicopter nosediving towards the ground and exploding in a huge fireball that engulfs the entire area.
The helicopter crashed in a populated area of Gwangju city with schools and apartment blocks nearby. However, as evident from the video, vehicular and pedestrian traffic was less when the accident took place, reducing the chances of pedestrian fatalities. Eyewitnesses talked about seeing a ‘”plume of black smoke rise” after the impact. There was also a loud bang that shook the entire locality.
Incidentally, the firefighting helicopter involved in the crash was returning from the search operations going on for the 11 people still missing from the April 2014 Sewol ferry disaster. Nearly 300 people, most of them school children, had perished in the ferry disaster which was later declared a national tragedy. This takes the death toll of number of people who were involved in search operations for the ferry disaster to seven. Earlier, two divers were killed while they were looking for bodies inside the sunken ferry.
According to Korean fire officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the crashed helicopter was on its way to the headquarters of the eastern provincial firefighting agency after its duty hours.
The identities of the five fire officers killed in the helicopter crash have not been revealed yet. The woman injured after the crash was identified as a school teacher from the locality. Another report however claimed that the injured person was a teenage girl. Meanwhile, footage that shows the helicopter crash has gone viral, and has evoked reactions of disbelief and sadness from those who watched it.
Investigations are still on to find out what caused this latest helicopter crash.
This latest helicopter crash comes just two days after a Chinese made helicopter in Cambodia also crashed, killing five military officers.
[Image Via YouTube]