Four Seriously Injured by Debris from Helicopter Takeoff in Havelock

Posted on Oct 30, 2011
A North Carolina chili festival in Craven County turned tragic on Saturday afternoon when the prop wash from a Marine helicopter caused debris to fly into the air and strike dozens of attendees.

According to a North Carolina news station, a Marine rescue helicopter had been on display at the Havelock chili event, as is sometimes the case at such festivals. When the aircraft took off at four in the afternoon, the wind created from its propeller blades caused several tents, tables, and chairs to blow over, sending at least four people to area emergency rooms with serious injuries.

One woman was taken to the hospital with an apparent broken leg, while several other festival participants suffered head injuries from flying debris. A seven-year-old girl was injured by a flying folding chair. One witness said that they watched a children's bounce castle blow away as the helicopter turned on its engines and took off.

Many witnesses described a simply chaotic scene of most everything at the festival blowing away as the helicopter lifted off of the ground. A witness, who was not injured at the event, said that money was seen blowing away from several festival vendors.

A statement from the Marine Corp explained the incident and said that they would be investigating the accident. At this point, no North Carolina personal injury lawsuits have been filed in connection with this accident.

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