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Woman, 87, dies after being blown over as helicopter landed at hospital

Another woman aged in her 80s was injured when the ‘down draft’ caused the car door to slam shut while she was getting out.

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A coastguard helicopter was landing at a hospital when two elderly women were injured by the ‘down draft’ (Yui Mok/PA)

A coastguard helicopter was landing at a hospital when two elderly women were injured by the ‘down draft’ (Yui Mok/PA)

A coastguard helicopter was landing at a hospital when two elderly women were injured by the ‘down draft’ (Yui Mok/PA)

An 87-year-old woman died after being blown over as a helicopter landed at a hospital, police have confirmed.

Another woman, aged in her 80s, is in hospital with a broken pelvis after her car door was blown shut in the incident, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

The force said a coastguard helicopter carrying a casualty from an earlier separate incident on Friday was landing at the helipad at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, at around 11.20am.

Police said it is believed the “down draft” caused the 87-year-old, from the Plymouth area, to be blown over as she walked on a nearby footpath, and blew the door of the other woman’s vehicle shut as she tried to get out of it in the car park, causing her to be injured.

Detective Inspector Andy Hodges described it as a “tragic incident” and said police are helping the Air Accident Investigations Branch, which is leading the investigation.

He said: “Whilst the helicopter was in the process of landing on the helipad, the down draft caused one member of the public, an 87-year-old woman from the Plymouth area who was on nearby footpath to be blown over.

“She sustained a serious head injury and later died in Derriford Hospital. Her next of kin have been informed and a file is to be prepared for the coroner.

“A second woman, also in their 80s, was in the car park when it is believed the down draft caused the car door to slam shut whilst she was exiting her vehicle. She has suffered a broken pelvis and remains in hospital in a stable condition.”

Mr Hodges said the thoughts of officers go out to all affected by the incident.

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