A team of aircraft accident investigators and a security contingent have been dispatched to the site of a helicopter crash in the Western Cape to secure the wreckage and commence with an investigation into the cause of the accident‚ the SANDF says.
It said the SAAF Oryx helicopter crash landed on the Worcester side of the Huguenot Tunnel at about 1.50pm on Sunday.
“The crew was sent on a tasking to assist a training team in the area of Touwsriver [near Worcester in the Western Cape] and they had completed their assignment and [were] returning back to Air Force Base Ysterplaat when the accident happened‚” the SANDF said in a statement.
It said the crew consisted of the pilot‚ co-pilot‚ a flight engineer and four aircraft technicians and mechanics.
“No fatalities or serious injuries but the pilot complained of back pain and has been taken by ambulance to 2 Military Hospital in Cape Town‚” it said adding that more information would be provided at a later stage.
According to Provincial Traffic Chief Kenny Africa the helicopter was forced to crash land after striking overhead power cables.
“I can confirm that an Oryx chopper went down. It is on the Worcester side of the Du Toitskloof Pass at the Klip River bridge‚” said Africa.
“There [were] overhead power cables that were struck and then the chopper went down.”
Africa said that teams were on the scene to clear the power cables and helicopter from the road.
“Seeing that it’s a SANDF helicopter and there are power cables that Eskom need to deal with it could take quite a long time until the road is reopened‚” he said.
The Atlas Oryx is a medium-sized utility helicopter and is used primarily as a transport helicopter.
– With additional reporting by Farren Collins