Tory peer among four killed in Norfolk helicopter crash

A civilian helicopter has crashed in Norfolk, killing four people

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Company mourns the loss of colleagues in helicopter crash

The Irish peer Lord Ballyedmond who died in last night's helicopter crash at Gillingham was the founding Chairman and CEO of Norbrook Pharmaceuticals.

They released this statement

It is with sincere sadness and deep regret that the Company confirms our founding Chairman and CEO, Lord Ballyedmond, was one of four people who tragically lost their lives. Norbrook management and staff also mourn the loss of their friends and colleagues Declan Small, Captain Carl Dickerson and Captain Lee Hoyle. Our thoughts are with the immediate families and friends..... We take enormous pride in our Chairman's extraordinary legacy in establishing us as a global veterinary and pharmaceutical industry leader.

– Norbrook

Aerial pictures of the helicopter wreckage

Lord Ballyedmond's helicopter crashed in a field at Gillingham, Norfolk last night.

Suffolk Police say it was on its way from Gillingham Hall to Northern Ireland when the crashed happened.

Aerial picture showing the crash site at Gillingham, Norfolk
Wreckage of the helicopter at Gillingham, Norfolk

This afternoon the other three men who died in the crash have been named as 42-year old Declan Small from Co Down.

The two pilots have been named as Carl Dickerson and Lee Hoyle who worked for Lord Ballyedmond's airport operator Haughey Air Limited.


All four men have now been named in helicopter crash

The pilot and co-pilot who died with the millionaire peer Lord Ballyedmond when his helicopter crashed last night, have been named as Carl Dickerson and Lee Hoyle.

Foreman 42-year old Declan Small from Co Down, was also on board the helicopter.

Mr Dickerson and Mr Hoyle were employed by the peer's airport operator Haughey Air Limited.

Suffolk Police say the helicopter took off from Gillingham Hall and was heading towards Ireland.

Lee Naseby who lives in nearby Beccles, filmed Lord Ballyedmond's helicopter taking off from Gillingham Hall a week ago.

Click above to see the footage taken on his mobile phone

Witnesses say they heard a loud and slow sound

People living in the village of Gillingham have been speaking about the moment a helicopter crashed, killing four men onboard, including millionaire peer Lord Ballyedmond.

Today air accident investigators are examining the wreckage and crash site.

The helicopter in question was often used to ferry workers over to the hall, they were staying here as residents as well. They were doing all kinds of work up there, carpet fitting, decorating, general stuff.

– Joe London, Manager at Gillingham Swan

It made us open the back door because the sound was so loud and slow, but it was gone 8 o'clock. Really loud, not like the usual helicopters you hear and you couldn't really see because it was so foggy.

– Local eye witness

41-year-old James Tuttle who lives in nearby Geldeston saw the helicopter come down.

We used to see him coming and going in his helicopter from our back garden all the time. At about 7pm we noticed the helicopter coming in very low and at an unusual 45-degree angle. We didn't hear any bang or explosion, it just seemed to be flying in a strange way. The fog wasn't bad at the time, just patchy, it only got worse about an hour after the crash happened.

– James Tuttle, eye witness


Helicopter crash site is not far from Norwich to Lowestoft road

Wreckage from the Agusta Westland AW139 helicopter at Gillingham Credit: ITV News Anglia

As the fog lifts around Gillingham near Beccles, the crash site can be seen from the Norwich to Lowestoft Road, the A146.

Air accident investigators are at the scene of the crash, examining the area.

The helicopter came down in the field close to the well known McDonalds roundabout.

A police cordon remains in place around the scene Credit: ITV News Anglia
Emergency services at the crash site Credit: ITV News Anglia
Crash site close to the A146 Norwich to Lowestoft road Credit: ITV News Anglia

Helicopter wreckage can now be seen as fog lifts

Close up of the helicopter wreckage at Gillingham, Norfolk Credit: ITN

Wreckage of the Agusta Westland AW139 helicopter which came down at Gillingham close to the Norfolk and Suffolk border.

Norfolk police were only able to carry out a limited search last night because of thick fog in the area.

More detailed forensic investigations will be carried out today as Air investigators examine the scene.

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