Deadly firefighting plane crashes in Portugal and the United States

A helicopter operated by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office that was helping firefighters battle a wildfire in the US state of New Mexico on Saturday July 16, crashed with four people on board. Although operated by law enforcement, the Bell UH-1H Huey designated N911SZ, with serial number 70-16431, was reportedly used regularly to provide air support for firefighting and firefighting. assistance across New Mexico.

In a statement, the sheriff’s office said, “Preliminary information indicates that three Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) personnel and one Bernalillo County Fire Department employee were on board at the time of the crash. “, the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “There are no known survivors. These personnel were returned to Albuquerque after assisting fire crews during the East Mesa Fire. New Mexico: The investigation into this incident is currently in its preliminary stages.

The four crew members were identified as Deputy Larry Koren; Lieutenant Fred Beers; Deputy Michael Levison; and Rescue Specialist Matthew King of the Bernalillo County Fire and Rescue Department (BCFR).

On the day of the crash, the aircraft was checked into FlightAware departing Double Eagle II Airport northwest of Alberquerque’s central business district at approximately 1:53 p.m. MDT.

It then flew west for about 39 minutes towards the East Mesa Fire, with its final location recorded around 2:32 p.m. as being about 25 miles northeast of Alberquerque and six miles southwest of Vegas. It was about 27 miles west of the fire.

The plane’s last reported elevation was about 7,300 feet, after slowly descending from about 7,640 feet for about three minutes.

Tanker pilot killed in Portugal

A tanker pilot was also killed in an accident near the town of Torre de Moncorvo in northeastern Portugal on Saturday while collecting water from the Douro River.

The pilot, André Serra, from Agromontiar, was the only person on board the plane at the time of the accident. The aircraft was an Air Tractor AT-802AF Fire Boss operated by Titan Aerial Firefighting which had taken off from Viseu-Gonçalves Lobato airport earlier in the day.

Although the cause of the crash is currently unknown, photos of the aircraft prior to the occurrence showed signs of severe damage. Authorities pronounced Serra dead at the scene upon his arrival at the crash site.

In a statement following the incident, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa said: “It is with great dismay that I learned of the death of the pilot who was flying a plane that crashed this afternoon. . I send my deepest condolences to family and friends. »

Titan Aerial Firefighting also said, “On behalf of the entire company, friends and colleagues bid you farewell. We offer our most sincere condolences to the loved ones of André, a great professional and a better person who left us too soon. Rest in peace. Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Serra’s family, friends and colleagues.

Saturday’s accidents follow another incident on Wednesday July 13, in which another firefighting incident took place in the Aegean Sea near the island of Samos, killing two people.

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