Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Air Ambulance develops technical fault during call out

The Northern Ireland Air Ambulance developed a technical fault during a call on Friday.

The helicopter was sent to an emergency in the Co Londonderry village of Articlave just after 11am in which a man died after he was electrocuted.

The 44-year-old died at the scene. The issue did not impact the treatment for the man as a paramedic crew was already on the scene and had requested the assistance of the air ambulance.

Engineers were sent to examine the aircraft which had landed in a field close to the Rockmount Gardens area.

In a statement the organisation said: "The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received an emergency call to Articlave at 11.05 this morning.

"An ambulance arrived at 11.14, and requested assistance from the Air Ambulance HEMS team, who were already at the scene of a separate incident.

"After completing treatment of the patient at their first call, the air ambulance flew directly to Articlave, arriving at 11.40. No patients required transport to hospital, but on returning to the aircraft a technical issue was identified with one of the engines during pre-flight checks.

"The aircraft engineer travelled to the scene and the aircraft has now been repaired and has taken off once more. In the interim the HEMS team were collected in their rapid response car to make them available for calls until reunited with the aircraft."

The charity organisation launched in August 2017. It has a landing base at the former Maze prison site in County Antrim and a back-up at St Angelo outside Enniskillen.

The service operates with a doctor and paramedic on board and can reach any part of Northern Ireland within 25 minutes.

Securing the service for Northern Ireland was a passion for bike race medic Dr John Hinds - who died aged 35 on July 4 2015 - after a motorbike accident and its launch came after a 12-year campaign.

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