A pilot has died after a helicopter crashed in North Yorkshire, causing an ‘enormous explosion’ as police confirmed no other passengers were on board.
Firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to the scene near Aldborough, a village in Boroughbridge, after the helicopter came down at about 1.30pm today.
One witness told how she heard an ‘enormous explosion’, while another said a helicopter had been flying very low earlier in the day.
The aircraft crashed into a crop field and the scene was cordoned off. The pilot has not been identified yet.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has sent engines from four stations to the scene today
Police activity near the scene in Aldborough, Boroughbridge where a helicopter crashed in a field
One witness told how she heard an ‘enormous explosion’, while another said a helicopter had been flying very low earlier in the day
Speaking at the scene of the accident, Dave Hannan, of North Yorkshire Police, said: ‘Unfortunately I can report that one person, the pilot, is deceased in the helicopter.
‘We are working with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the Civil Aviation Authority to establish what the cause of that crash was.’
Mr Hannan said that when officers arrived on the scene the helicopter was on fire, and that efforts are being made to establish where it was going.
He added: ‘It was one fatality, no passengers.
‘We will be working through the night with those other agencies to establish who the pilot was.’
The helicopter is believed to have been a civilian aircraft, although the area is near Dishforth Airfield which is used by the Army.
The helicopter is believed to have been a civilian aircraft, although the area is near Dishforth Airfield which is used by the Army
Speaking at the scene of the accident, Dave Hannan, of North Yorkshire Police, said: ‘Unfortunately I can report that one person, the pilot, is deceased in the helicopter’
Emergency services headed to the field when they were called shortly before 1.30pm today
Katie McCann, of London, who grew up in Aldborough, said she was in her mother’s house when she heard what sounded like an ‘out of control plane or helicopter’.
Explaining that the crash was behind Aldborough Hall, she said: ‘The clouds are quite low here today and it’s not great weather. Then I heard an enormous explosion.’
The 53-year-old looked out the window and ‘black smoke was everywhere and I just flew out of the house because I thought it was an airplane’.
A man with two boys was on the phone trying the direct emergency services, and Ms McCann helped. ‘You couldn’t see anything,’ she said. ‘There was so much smoke.
Firefighters said they are using hose reels to dampen down the scene in Aldborough today
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service got a call at 1.26pm to reports of a helicopter crashing
‘(A man) said he had seen it. It was a red and white helicopter.He said it had climbed up into the cloud like it was trying to recover itself, and then dropped like a stone.’
It only took the first fire engine around three minutes to turn up, she added.
Another resident of Aldborough told local radio station Stray FM how she was surprised to see a helicopter flying very low earlier on this morning.
The woman, named only as Jean, said: ‘It went across the houses in Boroughbridge between 8am and 8.30am this morning – that’s what got me out of the house.’
Aldborough is about 15 miles north east of Harrogate and 17 miles north west of York
The crash was near the village of Aldborough (file image) in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has sent engines from Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Harrogate and Ripon and crews are using hose reels at the scene.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: ‘At 1.23pm today, police received reports of a helicopter crash near Aldborough, Boroughbridge.
‘Officers are currently at the scene, which is in a crop field. Fire and ambulance crews are also in attendance.
‘Officers have cordoned off the area and are currently conducting a search of the scene. Police are not yet able to confirm any information about casualties.’
A North Yorkshire Fire spokesman said: ‘We got a call at 1.26pm to reports of a helicopter crashing into a field near Aldborough, close to Boroughbridge.
‘A number of fire engines from Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Harrogate and Ripon are in attendance, and are using hose reels to dampen down the scene.’
Yorkshire Ambulance Service are also in attendance at the scene, which is about 15 miles north east of Harrogate and 17 miles north west of York.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed it was sending inspectors to investigate what it described as an ‘accident involving a helicopter’.