England: A pilot and passenger have died after their helicopter crashed in a rural area of Berkshire: third fatal helicopter crash in one week

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The helicopter was reported by witnesses to have split in half or exploded in mid air. The reports bear similarities to the crash last week of the helicopter in Florida that killed a pilot and reporter. A helicopter crash in New Zealand that killed four people was reported yesterday.

England: A pilot and passenger have died after their helicopter crashed in a rural area of Berkshire.

Thames Valley police said the accident happened around 1645 GMT in Twyford, near Reading.

A spokesman said the two victims, a man and a woman, were killed instantly.

He said eye witnesses near the scene saw the helicopter come down into a field and burst into flames.

"All the emergency services are at the scene. The helicopter has been totally destroyed," he added.

Eamon Clarke, who was working nearby, said he saw the aircraft snap in two in mid air before it fell to the ground.

It is not thought anyone on the ground was injured.

'Blew up in mid-air'

But a spokesman for the Berkshire Ambulance Service said local people claimed it blew-up in mid-air and missed hitting a row of houses by 300 metres.

A spokesman for Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said six engines went to the scene and put out burning wreckage.

Police said it appeared the aircraft was a Hughes 300 helicopter which had started its journey at Shoreham near Brighton earlier on Wednesday.

It later stopped at the Booker Airfield on the outskirts of High Wycombe and was on its way back to Shoreham when the crash happened.

Air accident investigators have launched an inquiry.


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), March 08, 2000

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