Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Two survivors of the crash of an Australian Navy Helicopter on a relief mission over Indonesia's earthquake-devastated Nias Island were in serious condition Sunday after nine of their colleagues were killed. An Australian Navy Sea King Helicopter ferrying an emergency medical team to a remote village on Nias crashed Saturday near the island's capital, Gunung Sitoli, killing nine of the 11 personnel aboard, the Australian government said. The crashed helicopter belonged to an Australian military Hospital ship, the HMAS Kanimbla. The ship's Captain, Cmdr. George McGuire, said the two survivors were airlifted by another Helicopter to the ship and are in serious condition, the Australian Associated Press reported. The news agency said McGuire told the ship's crew that the mission would continue despite the tragedy. The relief operations are Australia's second in Indonesia after its aid work in the aftermath of the December 26 tsunami-earthquake tragedy. Relief efforts for the latest tragedy were initially hampered by bad weather, which prevented aid from reaching remote islands until Saturday when the skies cleared.
Hospital Ship, The HMAS Kanimbla Australian Navy Sea King Helicopter