Wiltshire

Helicopter crashes at Salisbury industrial estate

Three men managed to scramble from the wreckage after a helicopter crashed in woodland in Wiltshire.

An eyewitness described how the pilot tried to manoeuvre the stricken aircraft near the Churchfields Industrial Estate in Salisbury.

The three injured men were taken to hospital for treatment.

One of them, Andrew Ridings from Marksbury in Bath, is in a stable condition, said a spokesperson for Southampton General Hospital.

A police spokeswoman said part of the estate had been cordoned off and an investigation was under way.

Great Western Ambulance Service said two men were airlifted to Southampton General Hospital and the third was taken to Salisbury District Hospital by road.

The spokesman said one of the men, who suffered chest pains and a head injury, had "quite serious" injuries but the condition of the three was not thought to be life-threatening.

'Nose-dived'

The helicopter is understood to have been travelling from Bath when it crashed on Tuesday morning.

Chris Cannell, from Car and Commercial Services based at the estate, said: "Originally we heard a chopper flying over very low over the top of the workshop and went out to have a look.

"We initially thought it was the police helicopter landing at the field at the back.

Image caption The helicopter crashed near a river

"He definitely had some sort of mechanical problem - obviously couldn't land in the fields behind because of the water, and has made his way back across the council yard to try and get, I would think, to the football pitches at the back.

"He's done a 180 degree turn and then all of a sudden the chopper has nose-dived and caught the trees.

"He manages to pull the nose back up, which I was quite surprised about, and then it just disappeared behind the trees and the thud."

Mechanic Stephen Thomas-Shergold, who also saw the crash, said: "He was only 8ft away from the river. He was very lucky where he landed."

Steve Blackmore, from Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS), said: "Clearly this had the potential to be far more serious and all three patients are lucky not to have sustained worse injuries."

The GWAS spokesman thanked a worker with a mechanical digger who took down a fence and cleared a path for emergency services to get to the scene.

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