Fatal flight accident near Buchen: Debris is scattered in the forest
Photo: Julian Buchner / imago images / Einsatz-Report24
Three people were killed in a helicopter crash in the north of Baden-Württemberg.
At first it was unclear whether there were missing people.
On Sunday afternoon, a police spokesman said: "We assume that there were a pilot and two passengers in the helicopter." He has not yet been able to provide any information about the identity of the dead.
The single-engine, four-seater Robinson R44 helicopter had come from the east.
It had crashed in the early afternoon over a forest in Buchen - near the border with Hesse and Bavaria - for an initially unexplained cause.
Experts from the Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) wanted to investigate the crash site.
Numerous investigators from the police, forensics, fire brigade and a public prosecutor were on site, as the police spokesman said, according to the dpa news agency.
"It's no longer about searching, it's about recovery." That will probably drag on so long into the evening that the fire brigade will have to illuminate the area.
"The situation is extremely depressing"
The results of the investigation are not to be expected too soon: "It will be a long time before all traces are secured and evaluated," said the police spokesman.
After such accidents, it often takes investigators several days to publish initial assumptions about the cause of the accident.
It usually takes several months before a final final report is available from the BFU experts.
Those present were presented with a terrifying picture.
"The situation is extremely depressing," said the police spokesman.
"The field of rubble is huge." It extends for several hundred meters in the middle of the forest.
Some of the wreckage was on the ground, while others were hanging in the trees.
While the remains of a rotor blade could still be seen, other debris appeared to be massively compressed.
A body was discovered a good 50 meters from the crash site.
Residents had noticed a fire in the forest and alerted the rescue workers.
The area on the edge of the town in the Neckar-Odenwald district with around 18,000 inhabitants is also used by joggers, walkers and mountain bikers, but it is not a classic local recreation area.
The center of Buchen is a few kilometers away.
The police cordoned off a large area of the crash site.
According to BFU data, helicopter accidents are rather rare.
For the past year, it shows only four accidents involving helicopters in civil aviation in Germany, none of them with seriously injured or fatalities.
According to statistics, there were five helicopter accidents in 2019 with a total of three seriously injured.
kry / dpa