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Third Victim Dies From Kapiti Coast Air Crash


Third Victim Dies From Kapiti Coast Air Crash

New Zealand Police National News Release 5:50pm 17 February 2008

The pilot of a light plane which was involved in a mid air crash with a helicopter over Paraparaumu today has died in Wellington Hospital.

Police said the pilot, the sole occupant of the Cessna aircraft, died late this afternoon from multiple injuries in the crash which happened about 11.15am, near the Paraparaumu air field.

The name of the man has not yet been released as some family members are travelling and are still to be advised of the man's death.

Police said the bodies of the helicopter pilot and passenger, both men, are still at one of the crash scenes. Their names have not yet been released as the men are still to be formally identified.

The helicopter crashed through the enclosed timber yard of the Placemakers building in Kapiti Road on the northern side of the air field. The building has been cordoned off to allow air accident and police investigators to conduct a scene examination. This could take several days.

Inspector John Spence, Kapiti Mana Area Commander, said several houses in Dennis Taylor Court, about 200 metres away from Placemakers, remain evacuated while a scene examination continues at the site where the light plane crashed into a residential cul de sac.

"We're extremely fortunate that people on the ground were not hurt," Inspector Spence said. "The propeller and engine from the light plane have crashed through the roof of a house, demolishing a hallway and sending shards of glass and wall linings through the house.

"The main fuselage has ended upside down outside the house with other bits of wreckage strewn across neighbouring properties."

Police are asking residents not to touch any debris, but to call Kapiti Police as the wreckage will be exhibits critical to the investigation.

Kapiti Road has been re-opened to through traffic although scenes at today's mid air crash between a light plane and a helicopter are still cordoned off. Only residents are allowed in Dennis Taylor Court and Robert Court.

Ends

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