Names of Australians killed in helicopter crash released

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Sunday, April 3, 2005

Roundel of the Royal Australian Air Force
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The names of nine Australian service personnel who died Saturday in a helicopter crash near the village of Aman Dray on the Indonesian island of Nias have been released by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The tragedy is the worst naval flying accident in Australian history.

The Royal Australian Navy lost Lieutenant Mathew Davy and Lieutenant Paul Kimlan from the Australian Capital Territory, Lieutenant Matthew Goodall, Petty Officer Stephen Slattery and Leading Seaman Scott Bennett from New South Wales, and Lieutenant Jonathan King from Queensland.

The Royal Australian Air Force lost Squadron Leader Paul McCarthy from Western Australia, Flight Lieutenant Lyn Rowbottom and Sergeant Wendy Jones from Queensland.

The bodies have not yet been removed from the wreckage.

Two other men who were onboard survived the accident are currently being treated for fractures on HMAS Kanimbla, which is stationed just off Nias.

Australian investigators have left for Indonesia to try to determine the cause of the crash. Witnesses who saw the accident, said the helicopter slammed into the ground nose first. People from the local village tried to help pull the two survivors free, but said the aircraft exploded into a fireball within five or ten minutes of impact, hindering the rescue.

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