Chopper carrying PM in landing mishap | Sunday Observer

Chopper carrying PM in landing mishap

Two persons were injured and admitted to hospital when a branch of a tree had broken off and fallen on them while they were bathing in the Menik Ganga in Kataragama, during the landing of a helicopter carrying the Prime Minister.

An Air Force Mi17 helicopter had been transporting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Kataragama and during its landing at the helipad in close proximity to the Menik Ganga, the downwash of the helicopter had caused the branch of a Kumbuk tree to snap and fall in the river injuring a male and a female who were bathing.

Air Force Media Spokesman Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne told the Sunday Observer that it was a routine landing but the wind conditions were beyond the control of the pilot. Hence, the change in direction of air deflected by the aerodynamic action of the helicopter rotor blade in motion had caused the branch of the tree to snap causing the accident.

He said the two injured persons were admitted to hospital and the female had been discharged after treatment while the male was still receiving treatment. However, he said his injuries are not serious.

The incident had occurred around 9 am yesterday (3) while the Prime Minister was on his way to Kataragama. He was not affected by this incident.