Irish Republican News · April 26, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Low-flying helicopter scare

A British Army helicopter hit a tree in the garden of a family home in Crossmaglen yesterday morning.

The propeller of a military helicopter struck a tree in the garden of a house adjacent to a British Army barracks in Crossmaglen at around 11.30am yesterday.

The helicopter hit the tree, causing part of it to fall off onto the washing line in the garden of a house where an elderly woman lives.

Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty said the aircraft had flown extremely low to the ground, and the helicopter could have struck the resident of the house had she been in the garden at the time.

Mr Hearty added: “There is a seriously bad accident waiting to happen in that area. I can’t believe it is allowed to go on.”

A PSNI/British Army patrol in the area was said to have abused the woman when she asked to make a complaint about the incident. The PSNI police also hung up when she attempt to raise the matter by telephone.

Local Assembly member Conor Murphy said he would be raising the matter with the British government today.

“It was only through good fortune that local people were not killed or seriously injured in this mornings incident which is the latest in a long line of such incidents involving British Army helicopters in this area,” he said.

“The attitude of the PSNI to this mornings event while not surprising is another illustration of just how far we have to travel before we reach the Good Friday Agreement goal of an accountable and acceptable policing service”.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News