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Northern Ireland police helicopter crashes in Mourne Mountains

A PSNI helicopter has crashed in the the Mourne Mountains, in Co Down.

The helicopter went down in the Yellow Road area of Hilltown before 11am. Four people onboard were hurt, however, their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

It is understood the helicopter, a Eurocopter Squirrel on lease to the PSNI, was in the area as part of the police clearance operation in connection with Saturday's crash.

The helicopter was just taking off when it overturned.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Four people have been injured following an incident involving a police helicopter in the Mourne mountains. The helicopter crashed close to the scene of last Saturday's fatal helicopter tragedy. It had just taken off when it overturned.

“The four people on board were able to walk away from the wreckage and are not believed to be seriously injured at this stage however they are being taken to hospital for treatment. The Air Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.”

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it deployed four accident and emergency vehicles, a rapid response vehicle, three officers and a doctor to the scene.

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A spokesman said that first reports indicate that three of the four passengers may be seriously injured with the other relatively unharmed.

Meanwhile, the investigation is also continuing into Saturday's crash which killed three people - including Charles Stisted and Ian Wooldridge, who were close friends of Prince Charles.

A spokeswoman for AAIB said that after the initial investigation was carried out at the scene the wreckage would be removed to its airbase facility at Farnborough in England for a more detailed examination, a process which could take months.

The privately owned Agusta 109 helicopter is thought to have belonged to Mr Wooldridge, a property developer involved in the Titanic Quarter development in Belfast.

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