2 Weeks After 'Unthinkable Tragedy,' a Miracle

Boy injured in helicopter collision comes out of coma
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2023 7:39 AM CST
Updated Jan 21, 2023 1:00 PM CST
2 Helicopters Collide Midair, Killing 4
Two wrecked helicopters sit on the sand at a collision scene on the Gold Coast in Australia on Monday.   (Dave Hunt/AAP Image via AP)
UPDATE Jan 16, 2023 1:41 AM CST

Nearly two weeks after a helicopter collision off Australia's Gold Coast killed four people and seriously injured three others, news that media outlets are referring to as a "miracle": A 10-year-old boy who was in a coma has come out of it. Nicholas Tadros, who has had several surgeries since the crash, has also been weaned off life support over the past few days, his father announced, per 7 News and ABC.net. "His body has responded very well, (he’s) still on the ventilator machine to support his breathing," his dad said in a Facebook update Sunday. "They have lowered his sedation medicine at times to see if he is responsive, and he has woken up and able to respond to some questions with a nod or shake of the head." He has also been holding his father's hand. His mother was among those killed in the crash.

Jan 2, 2023 7:39 AM CST

Four are dead and three injured after two helicopters slammed into each other over Australia's Gold Coast on Monday. A rep from Queensland Ambulance Service says 13 people in total were on the two aircraft, which ended up on a sandbank just outside of the local Sea World resort after the collision, reports CNN. The Queensland Police Service's Gary Worrell told reporters that the crash appeared to have happened when one helicopter was landing and one was taking off. A witness says he heard a "massive, massive bang," after which staff at Sea World rushed to close off access points to areas near the crash, per the AP.

One of the helicopters was able to land safely on the sandbank off of Main Beach after the crash, but the second one crashed to the ground. Police officers and members of the public, including people on Jet Skis and boaters, rushed to help those inside the aircraft on the hard-to-reach sand island, Worrell said. Besides the four fatalities, three people were seriously hurt and are said to be in critical condition, while six others suffered minor injuries, including cuts from glass shards. The four people who died and the three most seriously injured were in the chopper that crashed.

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"What has happened on the Gold Coast today is an unthinkable tragedy," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tweeted Monday, offering her condolences to the victims' families. Angus Mitchell, who heads up the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, is asking any who may have witnessed the helicopters in flight or the collision itself to contact investigators in the ongoing probe, per CNN. He notes that he expects a preliminary report within two months' time. (More helicopter crash stories.)

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