Shortly before 2pm on Wednesday, a water bomber crashed while tackling a dangerous bushfire in Pechey, Queensland.
It has since been confirmed that the pilot of the helicopter survived the crash, suffering minor injuries as a result of the incident which happened at 1.2pm on the Darling Downs, west of Brisbane. It is thought that the helicopter had been just a few metres off the ground when it crashed to the ground in windy conditions, reports 9News.
Queensland Ambulance Service made a statement following the crash, saying: “Paramedics are treating one patient for minor injuries after a helicopter landed heavily at 1.52pm.”
According to 7News, the light aircraft crashed in a fire zone on Sewell Road in Pechey on Wednesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, residents of Pechey and nearby Hampton were told to evacuate their properties with the fire warning level classified as ‘watch and act’ as of 1pm.
A statement issued by Queensland Fire and Rescue Service said: “A fast moving fire is travelling from Grapetree Road towards Deeth Road, Sewell Road, Parker Road, Bush Road and Misty Mountain Road. It is currently impacting Parker Road and Sewell Road. The fire could have on the significant impact on the community.
“Fire crews with support from waterbombing operations are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door. Power, water, and mobile phone service may be lost.”
Following the news, many people wished the pilot well on social media, with one person writing: “The great news is: they’re saying the water bomber pilot is being treated for minor injuries. The bad news is we’re probably down one water bomber. #bushfiresQLD.”
Another said: “Just walked past a telly… The water bomber has apparently crashed on the darling downs #qldbushfires I hope the pilot is ok… Please be ok.”
— Nichola L Stephenson (@nickystevo) November 13, 2019
While a third commented: “Fire at Pechey just a few kilometres west of me water bomber has crashed…it’s damn windy bloody dry and smoky…don’t know yet of condition of pilot…welcome to Scott Morrisons – climate denier – Australia.” And another wrote: “So bloody sad. A water bomber has crashed in Pechey Darling Downs Queensland.”
More to come.