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30/12/2012

RIO – The helicopter that crashed Saturday in the sea on Copacabana was pulled from the water early Sunday morning. Teams of firefighters worked to rescue the aircraft, which was hoisted by ropes. The equipment was removed from the sand and taken by truck to the airport Jacarepaguá where will periciado. With total loss, the helicopter can not operate again. So the Fire Department is left with only two aircraft rescue.

The fall of the aircraft at the time of the Three Tour, left five people injured and scared bathers on Saturday afternoon. The accident occurred at 16h15m, when the waterfront was packed. According to witnesses, the aircraft was trying to rescue a person who was drowning, when presented problems. The helicopter, which was flying low, lost stability, fell into the water and sank. It is unclear what caused the fall.
The four firefighters who were on the aircraft, including the pilot, and the swimmer who drowned were rescued and taken to the Miguel Couto Hospital with minor abrasions. One had a cut on his knee. The team was the 3rd Grouping of Search and Rescue. The rescue of the victims was done with the help of speedboats and jet skis, and a Civil Police helicopter. The Fire Department also determines the causes of the accident.

A firefighter who participated in the rescue, and who declined to be named, said he believed that the helicopter crashed due to a malfunction in the engine:

– He lost stability and to land on water, rolled.

The deputy general Firefighters, Colonel Ronaldo Alcantara said that there was a technical failure. According to him, the helicopter pilot, Lt. Col. Delosso, said a light on the dashboard lit, indicating loss of rotation and hence altitude. Right now, he descended into the water, trying to cause the least possible impact. The deputy ruled out a wave reaching the aircraft:

– The minimum distance the aircraft over the sea is ten meters. It would be impossible a wave hit her.

But the tourist mining Andrezza Eufrásio of Belo Horizonte, which was on the beach, believes that a wave had knocked down the helicopter.

– I saw the same aircraft rescue at least three swimmers before falling. The impression I got is that it was hit by a wave.

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