Breaking: Super Puma Crash – Fatal Accident Enquiry to be Held

Graphic for News Item: Breaking: Super Puma Crash - Fatal Accident Enquiry to be Held

A fatal accident inquiry is to be held into the 2013 Super Puma crash near Shetland which killed four people in 2013.

The helicopter crashed on its approach to Sumburgh with 16 passengers and 2 crew onboard

Passengers Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin; Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness; Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland; and George Allison, 57, from Winchester, died.

No date for the inquiry has yet been announced but Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has welcomed the announcement by the Crown Office.

Scott and others repeatedly called for such an inquiry to be held but the Crown Office had always maintained that investigations into the circumstances of the tragedy were still ongoing.

Scott said: “I am very pleased that the uncertainty is now over. It has taken too long for a FAI to be confirmed.

“Families who lost love ones have had to live under this cloud for too many years. But at least now the inquiry can find out what happened and why.

“The families of the bereaved deserve answers and that will now finally happen.

“On the wider point about the length of time since the helicopter crash and the loss of life, I want the government to consider reforms to the process to speed this up. This has simply taken too long.”

There have been repeated calls for a fatal accident inquiry to be held into the crash, which took place on 23 August 2013.

Almost two years ago, the mother of victim Sarah Darnley said an inquiry should be held soon.

On Wednesday, the Crown Office said the investigation into the crash had reached “a significant stage”.

It said: “Crown Counsel have instructed that a fatal accident inquiry be held into the deaths of Duncan Munro, Sarah Darnley, Gary McCrossan and George Allison, who were passengers being transported from North Sea oil and gas platforms to the mainland.”

The Crown Office said it would continue to keep the victims’ relatives informed of developments.

In 2016, a report said flight instruments were “not monitored effectively” by the pilots in the moments leading up to the crash.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said a lack of monitoring meant a reduction in air speed was not noticed by the pilots.

Attempts to recover were too late.

The report also said the impact with the water had been “survivable”.

It said one of the four victims had been unable to escape, one was incapacitated by a head injury, one drowned before reaching the surface, and the other died in the life raft from a chronic heart condition.

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