30 Nov 2006

Investigation into helicopter crash off Fiji waters

11:59 am on 30 November 2006

Seven injured Australian soldiers are on their way home today after a Black Hawk helicopter crash in waters off Fiji which left one of their colleagues dead and another missing.

The crash happened late yesterday as the helicopter was preparing to land on HMAS Kanimbla as part of training exercises for the evacuation of Australians in Fiji.

The helicopter was carrying four air crew from the 5th Aviation Regiment, based in Townsville, and six Special Air Service Regiment SAS officers.

Of the nine personnel rescued from the water, eight were injured, including one who later died.

Late last night the search was ongoing for the missing soldier.

Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston says the cause of the accident was not yet known but was being investigated.