The SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) is currently collecting evidence which may shed some light on what caused a helicopter crash that killed four healthcare workers and a pilot this week.
The two doctors, a nurse, a paramedic and pilot were en route to pick up a critically ill patient in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday when the helicopter crashed in Bergville. The patient was to be transported to Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.
Netcare identified the victims as Dr Kgopotso Rudolph Mononyane, an anaesthetist, Dr Curnick Siyabonga Mahlangu, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and Mpho Xaba, a specialist cardiothoracic and transplant theatre nurse.
Also killed were Sinjin Joshua Farrance, an advanced life support paramedic at Netcare 911, and pilot Mark Stoxreiter, who worked for National Airways Corporation.
“Since the accident happened, the team of aircraft accident and incident investigators have been at the site on a daily basis collecting evidence, which will help in determining the cause of the accident,” Kabelo Ledwaba, Sacaa spokesperson, said.
“This evidence collection phase is crucial as it helps in defining the size and scope of the investigation as well as estimating the anticipated time frame for the completion of a final accident investigation report. An appeal is made to all concerned to kindly give the investigating team the space and time to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the actual cause of the accident.”
The investigation into the cause of the accident was continuing.