A helicopter from Argentina was forced to make an emergency landing in Grenada’s ward island of Petit Martinique Thursday morning, residents have reported.
The helicopter was traveling from St. Lucia en route to Trinidad’s sister isle of Tobago as part of an island hopping expedition, when it appeared to have developed mechanical problems.
All four male Spanish-speaking passengers on board the helicopter, an air ambulance, were safe and unhurt, officials of the Lauriston Airport in Carriacou have said.
The passengers told residents, who rushed to their rescue, that the incident was triggered by a broken hose which began leaking fuel.
A release from the police has quoted pilot Eric Ortiz as saying that “he was forced to make the emergency landing, just before ten in the morning, as a result of the loss of oil that lubricates the main transmission of the helicopter”.
The helicopter circled for several minutes while making contact with authorities in St.Vincent and the Grenadines who advised them to land in a sparsely populated area of Petit Martinique.
Police visited the site of the emergency landing this morning; a playing field in southern Petit Martinique in an area known Nahoe.
Officials of the Grenada Electricity Company (GRENLEC) assisted the passengers in repairing the hose before they can take-off.
Some of the tiny islands 900 residents rushed to the scene of the incident to catch a glimpse of the red and silver air ambulance on an island where facilities to accommodate aircraft do not exist.
Students from the lone primary school on the 13 square mile island were carried to the emergency landing site class by class to view the aircraft.
After the repair, the aircraft was carried to the Lauriston Airport in neighbouring Carriacou.©