We have previously written in this Report about the high incidence of medical helicopter crashes around the U.S. In another recent tragedy, a medical helicopter transporting a one-year-old girl to a Chicago hospital crashed and burned, killing all four aboard. The helicopter was headed for Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago from a hospital in Sandwich, Illinois, about 50 miles west, when it went down around midnight on October 15th. Reportedly, the helicopter may have clipped a radio tower’s wire before the crash.
The child, who was being transported to the hospital because of epileptic seizures, was en route to the Chicago hospital after a closer hospital indicated there was no room for her there. The helicopter belonged to Air Angels Inc., an emergency medical transport service based at Clow Airport in suburban Bolingbrook. The helicopter’s crew included the pilot, a nurse and a paramedic employed by the company. According to reports, the helicopter’s pilot did not report mechanical problems, and weather was not an issue. All on board were killed.
The helicopter crashed in a field near a residential area in east Aurora and became engulfed in flames. No one on the ground was hurt. It was reported that – after the crash – engineers were evaluating the structural integrity of the 750-foot tall radio tower after its wire was clipped in the accident. The little girl was initially to go to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, which was about 20 miles closer to Sandwich than Chicago. Investigators of the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
The Aurora crash is the third involving Air Angels helicopters. In January 2003, an Air Angels helicopter crashed killing the pilot. Investigators determined pilot error and weather caused the accident. Mechanical problems were blamed for an August 2007 crash in which there were no injuries. The latest crash was another tragic incident that resulted in four deaths.
Source: Associated Press
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