Four killed after rescue helicopter strikes zip line in UAE’s Ras Al-Khaimah

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Horrified onlookers watch as the helicopter spins out of control after clipping a zip line. (Screengrab)
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Horrified onlookers watch as the helicopter spins out of control after clipping a zip line. (Screengrab)
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Horrified onlookers watch as the helicopter spins out of control after clipping a zip line. (Screengrab)
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The helicopter crashes into the mountain and bursts into flames. (Screengrab)
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Ras Al Khaimah’s Jebel Jais – the highest mountain in the UAE, is home to the world’s longest zipline. (Shutterstock)
Updated 30 December 2018

Four killed after rescue helicopter strikes zip line in UAE’s Ras Al-Khaimah

  • Local media reported that the helicopter hit a zipline before crashing and bursting into flames
  • The helicopter was on a rescue mission near Jebel Jais when it crashed

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.

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 Agusta 139 helicopter was operated by the UAE's National Search and Rescue Center. (File photo: WAM)

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.




Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE, is home to the world's longest zipline. (Shutterstock)

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.


Oman’s ruler back home after medical checkup in Belgium

Updated 11 min 47 sec ago

Oman’s ruler back home after medical checkup in Belgium

  • Sultan Qaboos has ruled Oman since he succeeded his father in 1970
  • The sultan has no known successor for his throne in Oman

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Oman’s 79-year-old ruler has returned to his sultanate after traveling to Belgium for a medical checkup, the sultanate’s state-run news agency reported Friday.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said left “for some medical checks that will take a limited period, God willing,” the Oman News Agency reported a week earlier, citing a royal court statement. A similar royal statement announced his return, without elaborating.

Bin Said has taken medical trips abroad in the past. The sultan has ruled Oman since he succeeded his father in 1970. He has no known successor for his throne in Oman, a country on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula that’s home to some 4.6 million people.