Page last updated at 19:14 GMT, Thursday, 18 September 2008 20:14 UK

Helicopter crashes near school

Crash scene

An eye-witness has described the lucky escape of a pilot whose helicopter crashed near a school in County Meath.

The helicopter took off from Bettystown at about 1700 BST, but a short time later crashed near a hotel currently used as a temporary secondary school.

"He climbed down, ran away and when he was just 40 metres away it just exploded. Debris went everywhere," said eye-witness Peter Whelan.

Passengers had been left off at the beach just before the accident.

One person was taken to hospital in nearby Drogheda.

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