Four dead after rescue helicopter ‘clips world’s longest zipline’ in United Arab Emirates crash
A rescue helicopter has crashed after clipping the world’s longest zipline, killing its entire crew in Ras al-Khaimah in the north-eastern region of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to local media.
- The victims reportedly include three Emiratis and a fourth foreigner
- The helicopter was on a rescue mission when it crashed before reaching an injured man
- Local reports claim the helicopter clipped the world’s longest zipline
The National Search and Rescue Centre said four crew members were onboard the helicopter when it crashed on Saturday on the UAE’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais, which is 1,934 metres high at its peak.
According to Arab News, the dead included three Emiratis and a fourth foreigner.
The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed the Agusta 139 helicopter crashed during a rescue mission about 5:50pm (local time).
A top official told Gulf News the helicopter struck the world’s longest zipline cable — which spans 2.83 kilometres — in the crash.
The incident occurred before the helicopter reached the injured man it had set out to rescue.
Footage posted online by stunned onlookers shows the helicopter diving into a tailspin before crashing and bursting into flames in the valley of Jebel Jais.
Ras al-Khaimah’s ruler, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.
Arab News reported the ruler requested “a comprehensive investigation of the security and safety requirements in place to determine the cause of this painful incident”.
The Jebel Jais zipline opened in February as part of an effort by the smaller, lesser-known emirate of Ras al-Khaimah to attract more tourists and residents from neighbouring emirates including Abu Dhabi and Dubai.