DUBAI: A rescue helicopter crashed in Ras Al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday evening killing all of the crew, the country’s civil aviation authority said.
Local media reported that the helicopter struck a zip line before crashing and bursting into flames. Video circulated on social media showed the helicopter spinning before it crashed into the mountain.
#UAE's National Research and Rescue Center (@NCEMAUAE) is searching for the bodies of 4 people killed in a helicopter crash in #rasalkhaimah near the world's largest #zipline in #jebeljaishttps://t.co/EotGook3uO pic.twitter.com/HkrLmswf0Q— Arab News (@arabnews) December 29, 2018
The dead include three Emiratis and a foreigner.
“An Agusta 139 helicopter in a rescue mission crashed in Jebel Jais area in the Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah," state news agency WAM quoted the UAE’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) as saying.
Ras Al-Khaimah's ruler, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al-Qasimi, ordered an urgent investigation into the helicopter’s crash.
He also ordered "a comprehensive investigation of the security and safety requirements in place to determine the cause of this painful incident," WAM reported.
The statement added that the helicopter crashed at about 5:55 p.m. local time (1:55 p.m. GMT).
An official said the helicopter from the National Search and Rescue Center was on a mission to airlift an injured man from Jebel Jais but the helicopter crashed before reaching the man.
Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE, is home to the world's longest zipline.
The zipline, measuring 2.83 kilometers long, opened in February as part of an effort by the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah to attract more tourists and residents from neighboring emirates like Abu Dhabi and Dubai.