British Military Helicopter Crash Lands in Maxboro
Just before today, a British military helicopter crashed in the Ladyville area. Our 7NEWS team was on the scene near the Nova Shrimp Farm 30 minutes later and here’s what we found.
Jules Vasquez Reporting,
This heap of smoking rubble is all that’s left of a British Bell 212 helicopter that crashed in an empty shrimp pond at Nova Farms. The area where it crashed is south of the Maxboro Community. It’s a vast dry and flat area and watchman R. Vasquez says two or three times a week sees British helicopters doing flying drills in the over the dry ponds. But today it appeared that practice drill went terribly wrong.
R. Vasquez, Watchman
“So I was in the tower when I saw the helicopter go up and then come down again. They were practicing. I only saw that the helicopter came down but they didn’t land on the ground, they only came down and then go up again. They did it like three times when that accident happened. Yes he put the nose first and then he crashed into the sand. So when I saw suddenly the helicopter crashed, it dropped into the sand and crashed and then the fire came off.”
That’s when he raced to the area to check on what he was sure would be a fatal crash
“I saw fire and smoke started to come out so I said those soldiers must have killed themselves, they must have been dead in there because I didn’t see anything and that is why I went there with my truck and when I reached there I saw the two soldiers and I was surprised and I asked if it was only two of them and they said yes and they told me nobody was in the helicopter, nobody got injured and nobody dead. They told me they were happy because nothing happened.”
Did they ask for anything?
“They only asked me for water, that they wanted to drink and I came and got water for them but when I arrived again they had gone back because another helicopter had landed and took them.”
They show any signs of being injured?
“Only one of the soldiers, I see had something on his mouth. That’s all what I saw.”
British military personnel on the scene didn’t answer any questions, and asked police to remove us – and threatened to order the police to have us arrested – even though it is a private area managed by the nova receivership, which granted us access to the area.
We were unable to reach BATSUB for official comment. Our information says that two staff sergeants were on board, reportedly doing a training course. Only one of them is reported to have minor injuries. Again, none of this could be confirmed with BATSUB, which was inaccessible by telephone. The British Forces will do its own investigation as the Belize Civil Aviation Authority does not investigate military accidents.