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Air Crash Wreckage Takes Time To Clear

Air Crash Wreckage Takes Time To Clear

It could be several days before police and aviation investigators are able to remove the wreckage from the helicopter and Cessna light plane involved in today's tragic mid-air crash at Paraparaumu, Kapiti Coast.

Inspector John Spence, Kapiti Mana Area Police Commander, said debris was scattered over commercial and residential areas. Police are appealing to residents not to touch any wreckage but to call Kapiti Police if they find items on their properties.

"Recording where the items are found and then properly securing them for later analysis will help investigators find out how the crash happened," he said. "It could be several days before the main wreckage is able to be removed."

The crash has claimed the lives of three men. Two were in the helicopter and were killed instantly. The pilot and sole occupant of the light plane was flown to Wellington Hospital with multiple injuries but died late this afternoon.

The Wellington coroner and pathologists have been at both main crash scenes tonight. The coroner and police are not able to release the names of those killed as some family members are still to be traced and formal identification made.

Specialist police disaster victim identification teams are working to remove the two bodies from the helicopter scene at Placemakers tonight. It will be a difficult job and could take some time.

Security guards will remain overnight at the Placemakers scene and also in Dennis Taylor Court where the Cessna fuselage remains upside down in the cul de sac. A propeller and engine have ploughed through the roof of a house.

"Wreckage from this high impact crash will take several days to clear," Inspector Spence said. "This crash is a huge tragedy for the families of the men involved, and for the wider community," he said.

"We feel for the families and friends of those who have died, and also for those who witnessed the crash, or fled for their lives as the wreckage fell from the skies.

"There has been an incredible response from police, Civil Aviation, all the emergency services, Victim Support, the Kapiti Coast District Council, businesses and residents," he said.


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