Police still on scene at Cley helicopter crash site

18 January 2014

Police can confirm the A149 Coast Road from Salthouse to Old Woman’s Lane that has been closed since the helicopter crash on January 7 reopened at 12.20pm today, Saturday 18 January 2014.

The police cordon around the crash scene has also been lifted.

We would like to thank the local community and those wishing to use the marshlands for their patience and understanding while the authorities dealt with this local disruption.

 

10 January 201412:10

As military personnel continue their work at the site of the helicopter crash, Norfolk Constabulary will offer support in the form of a police cordon around the scene and a road closure on the A149 from Salthouse to Old Woman’s Lane.

We would like to thank the local community and anyone wishing to use the marshlands for their patience and understanding in dealing with this local disruption.

Both the road closure and the police cordon is expected to remain in place until the early morning of Monday 20 January 2014.

 

9 January 201413:35

Norfolk Constabulary will continue to support the US Air Force as they manage the dignified and appropriate recovery of the remains of their aircrew.

The bodies of four US Air Force military crew members, killed in a helicopter crash on the North Norfolk coast on Tuesday evening, will now be taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by private ambulance, accompanied by two police cars.

No evidence has been found at this time to suggest the crash was a criminal matter and officers will therefore hand over their work to date to the crash investigators.  The USAF, supported by the MOD, will then lead the continuing investigation into the circumstances of the crash.

The scene will remain cordoned off and road closures will also continue on the A149 between Salthouse and Old Woman’s Lane. With the scene on difficult ground, the longer term investigation and recovery work could take many more weeks.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Dean, who has led the police response to the crash, said:

“As has been the case throughout this investigation, our thoughts remain with the families and friends of the military personnel who lost their lives in this tragic incident.

“Even though our colleagues from the USAF, supported by the MOD, will now lead the ongoing enquiries, we will continue to support their work, engaging with local communities and providing reassurance and assistance where required.”

 

9 January 2014 I 10:30

Work will begin this morning to remove the bodies of four US Air Force military crew members killed in a helicopter crash on the North Norfolk coast.

Police continue to lead on the investigation on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coroner Jacqueline Lake with assistance from other agencies including the Ministry of Defence and USAF.

The USAF has been given authority to begin the recovery operation to take place. It comes after investigators visited the site yesterday following the crash which happened on Tuesday night shortly before 7pm.

The scene remains cordoned off and closures are in place on the A149 between Salthouse and Old Woman’s Lane.

Chief Superintendent Bob Scully said: “Police and other agencies remain on scene today as the investigation continues and will ensure the recovery of the bodies is dignified and respectful.

“Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of the military personnel who lost their lives in this tragic incident.

“The scene is on difficult ground and the longer term investigation and recovery work will take many more weeks.”

 

8 January 2014 I 18:45

The scene of a helicopter crash yesterday evening remains cordoned off as investigations into the cause of the incident continues.

Police continue to lead on the enquiry on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coroner Jacqueline Lake and are being assisted by other agencies including the Ministry of Defence and US Air Force.

Today these agencies have examined the scene of the crash which has also been visited by the Coroner, to establish the safest and most respectful way of removing the deceased and the wreckage. There will be some tasks taking place during the hours of darkness however, the aircraft and those who have died will remain in situ overnight as their removal could disrupt evidence at the present time.

The undamaged aircraft will also not be moved in order to preserve the scene and tomorrow items will start to be recovered from the crashed aircraft. Once the scene is handed over for the accident investigation element to begin, the cordon will still remain in place for a number of days. 

We appreciate this is likely to cause some disruption to the local community and will require the A149 to be closed from Salthouse to Old Woman’s Lane until possibly Monday.

We urge the public and members of the media to understand the situation and to have sympathy with the needs of the families of the deceased.  This includes respecting the cordons and no fly zones that are in place.

Speaking from the scene, Chief Superintendent Bob Scully said: “There are a significant number of specialists involved in the investigation including, the RAF, USAF and senior investigators and crime scene investigators from Norfolk Constabulary. We are all working together to secure all the evidence necessary for us to find out what happened to the aircraft.”

 

8 January 2014 I 13:00
Police continue to lead the initial enquiry into the
helicopter crash in Cley in North Norfolk on behalf of HM Coroner.

Agencies including police, Ministry of Defence and US Air Force continue to assess the site which has been described as the size of a "football pitch”.

The police helicopter is also assisting at the scene and Norfolk Coroner Jacqueline Lake is also in attendance.

A strict cordon remains in place and Norfolk Constabulary would like to thank the members of the public who have adhered to the advice to avoid the area. Road closures are still in place.

A significant number of bullets from the crashed aircraft remain scattered across the area.

Speaking from the scene, Chief Superintendent Bob Scully, said: "Police continue to work with various partner agencies to piece together the exact circumstances concerning the crash.

"It remains a challenging, lengthy process due to the difficult terrain and the size of the area needed to be assessed.

"This will remain a police-led operation until such time the Coroner is satisfied that the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the four occupants of the helicopter are non suspicious.”

The scene is being assessed ‘in situ’ and the bodies of the deceased will be removed once this has taken place.

Two crafts – both USAF Pave Hawk HH60 helicopters - were involved in training activity last night and following the crash the second aircraft landed nearby to assist. This remains at the scene.

 

8 January 2014 I 10:18
Investigators are this morning continuing to examine the helicopter crash site in North Norfolk described as the size of a "football pitch”.

A strict cordon remains in place around the nature reserve in Cley where a significant number of bullets from the crashed aircraft are scattered across the area.

Members of the public are therefore urged to continue to adhere to the restrictions in place while emergency services, Ministry of Defence, Air Accident Investigation Branch, US Air Force and HM Coroner assess the site.

Two helicopters were involved in training activity last night and following the crash the second aircraft landed nearby to assist.   

Speaking from the scene, Chief Superintendent Bob Scully, said: "The crash site is about the size of a football pitch, with difficult terrain which makes this a challenging and lengthy process.

"This is mainly on marshland although some debris which was close to the beach has been moved as it would be vulnerable to high tide.

"Further close examinations of the scene will take place this morning and the bodies of the deceased will be removed once this has taken place.

"The helicopter was carrying ammunition this was in the form of bullets which are scattered across the site, which is why the restrictions are necessary.

"We would like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding at such a challenging time and our thoughts remain with those affected by this tragic incident.”

Specialist military personnel will attend to assess environmental impact while the A149 remains closed through Cley. Access to Beach Road and East Bank is also restricted and there is no coastline access to the crash site.

 

8 January 2014 I 07:59

With daylight approaching the multi-agency investigation into the helicopter crash on the North Norfolk coast will continue.

A USAF Pave Hawk HH60 helicopter from RAF Lakenheath crashed at the north end of East Bank on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes Nature Reserve at around 7pm yesterday evening, Tuesday 7 January 2014.

The four occupants in the helicopter sadly died in the crash, details of the deceased will not be released until next of kin have been informed. It is not believed that anyone in the surrounding area has been injured.

The crash site, which lies to the west of East Bank in marshland between the A149 and the coastline, remains cordoned off today, Wednesday 8 January, for the safety of the public and those working to investigate the crash and recover the wreckage.

A second helicopter from RAF Lakenheath which landed on the marshes shortly after the crash also remains at the scene.

Chief Superintendent Bob Scully from Norfolk Constabulary, said: "In order to carry out a thorough investigation in a safe manner, the area will remain cordoned off with no access for the general public.

"We will be working with our partners at the Ministry of Defence, Air Accident Investigation Branch and US Air Force to gather all evidence from the scene and then recover the aircraft.

"This is difficult terrain with marshland and tides coupled with wreckage containing munitions covering a large area.

"We must undertake this investigation and recovery operation in a careful and methodical way so we can provide answers as to why this crash happened.

"For reasons of safety it is essential that members of the public adhere to the cordon. The popular activities of walking and bird-watching in this area will therefore be restricted until we have completed these tasks and ensured the marshes are safe.”

The A149 remains closed through Cley; access to Beach Road and East Bank is also restricted and there is no coastline access to the crash site.

 

8 January 2014 | 05:30

Emergency services and military personnel remain at the scene of a helicopter crash on the North Norfolk coast in which four people have died.

A USAF Pave Hawk HH60 helicopter from RAF Lakenheath crashed at the north end of East Bank on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes Nature Reserve at around 7pm yesterday evening, Tuesday 7 January 2014.

Police can now confirm that the four occupants in the helicopter sadly died in the crash, details of the deceased will not be released until next of kin have been informed. It is not believed that anyone in the surrounding area has been injured.

A 400m cordon remains around the crash site which lies to the west of East Bank in marshland between the A149 and the coastline. A second helicopter from RAF Lakenheath was also in the area at the time of the crash and set down on the marshes to try to assist, this was within the cordon and so this aircraft remains at the scene whilst inquiries are ongoing. The A149 remains closed through Cley; access to Beach Road and East Bank is also restricted and there is no coastline access to the crash site.

Investigators from the police and other partners have visited the crash site to assess the scene. Due to the geography and the munitions from the crashed helicopter, inquiries into the cause of the collision, the recovery of the wreckage and second aircraft and an environmental assessment are expected to take a number of days to complete. To ensure the safety of people in the area and those involved in the ongoing inquiries, members of the public are asked to respect the cordons that are in place.

Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Hamlin said: “I would like to pass on my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of those US Air Force personnel who have sadly lost their lives in this tragic incident. Emergency services, the military, partner agencies and volunteers have been working through the night to deal with this difficult situation on our coastline and I would also like to thank them for their professionalism and resilience.

“As our inquiry moves on today and the recovery of the aircraft begins, I would urge the public to stay away from the area – the cordon and road closures are in place to allow our experts to carry out these processes safely and there is no risk to members of the public if this section of marshland is avoided.”

Officers and Fire on the scene following a helicopter crash in North Norfolk

7 January 2014 I 22:50

Officers are currently at the scene of a helicopter crash which is thought to have taken place at around 7pm this evening in the A149 Salthouse area on the North Norfolk coast.

The helicopter has been confirmed as a USAF Pave Hawk HH60 helicopter from RAF Lakenheath and four occupants are thought to have died in the crash. Next of kin will be informed before further details on the victims are released.

It is not believed that anyone in the surrounding area has been injured. However, there remains a 400m cordon around the site, which is standard for this type of incident, whether civil or military. An assessment is still being carried out around the munitions which may be on the aircraft and advice from the military is being taken.

All emergency services are at the scene while investigations continue. To ensure their safety, members of the public are asked to respect the cordons that are in place as enquiries are ongoing.

 

7 January 2014 I 21:25

Police are currently dealing with a single helicopter crash in the Cley area, on the North Norfolk coast.

There are believed to be four fatalities.

Officers are on the scene, with a 400 metre area cordoned off. More details to follow. 

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