The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has confirmed that the helicopter that crashed at Du Toitskloof Pass north of Cape Town on Sunday afternoon belonged to the air force.
BREAKING: Military helicopter crash on the N1 Highway between Worcester and the Huguenot Tunnel near Paarl. EXCLUSIVE PICS: Benny Gool/Oryx Multimedia. pic.twitter.com/EDmenRrpEr
— Gasant Abarder (@GasantAbarder) December 10, 2017
“Today (Sunday), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) can confirm that an air force helicopter Oryx belonging to the South African Air Force (SAAF) crash-landed along the N1 near the Huguenot Tunnel in the Western Cape,” the SANDF said in a brief statement.
“More details will be communicated, all the crew and passages (are) safe and no injuries (were) sustained,” the statement said.
However, this appears to contradict statements by paramedics and traffic officials earlier on Sunday, who said eight people were injured, one seriously.
Western Cape provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said the crash happened on the Worcester side of the pass. “Apparently the chopper crashed into overhead power cables.” There were no fatalities although eight occupants were injured, he said.
ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring confirmed eight people were injured when the helicopter crashed on the N1 at Du Toitskloof between Worcester and Paarl.
“ER24 paramedics, along with several other services, arrived on the scene to find to find a large helicopter lying across the entire highway. Debris from the helicopter was spread across the scene. Traffic authorities began to close off the road and divert traffic while paramedics began to assess the patients.
“Eight people were found to be injured. One had sustained serious injuries while seven others had sustained minor to moderate injuries. Paramedics treated the patients and provided the seriously injured (patient) with advanced life support interventions before they were transported to a nearby hospital for further treatment,” Meiring said.
Africa said the Du Toitkloof Pass had been closed to traffic and road users were asked to use alternative routes from Worcester to Cape Town via Villiersdorp, Grabouw, Wolseley, Tulbagh, or Wellington.