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Last Updated: Monday, 9 February, 2004, 22:52 GMT
Navy helicopter crash probe opens
Royal Navy Lynx helicopter
The crashed helicopter was a Royal Navy Lynx
An investigation has been launched after a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter crashed in Antarctica, leaving three of its five crew seriously injured.

It was helping ice patrol ship HMS Endurance and research vessel Ernest Shackleton when it came down on the Weddell Sea coast on Sunday afternoon.

Teams from the two ships took the crew, four from the Royal Navy and one from the Army, to Endurance for treatment.

The crash happened during daylight in apparently good weather conditions.

The three most seriously injured crew members were later airlifted to the British Antarctic Survey's Halley Research Station, about 180 miles (290 kilometres) away.

They are now being flown out of Antarctica, probably to South America, where they will receive hospital treatment.

The two ships were laying down fuel caches for use by the British Antarctic Survey, which conducts scientific research in and around the Antarctic continent for the government.

The MoD has yet to decide if the helicopter is to be salvaged, a spokesman said.


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