Helicopter crashes into pub in Longford

The helicopter can be seen lying on its side, with damage to the pub. Picture: YouTube / Screengrab
The helicopter can be seen lying on its side, with damage to the pub. Picture: YouTube / Screengrab
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A HELICOPTER has crashed into a pub in Ireland, leaving one man with minor injuries and several others needing treatment for shock.

The accident happened in Abbeyshrule, in County Longford at around 9.15pm on Wednesday night, with the aircraft hitting the rear function room at the Rustic Inn Bar.

A number of people witnessed the incident, with bystanders reporting hearing a loud noise before the helicopter came down in a lane next to the pub, which is sited near an airfield.

The pub landlord told local media that the aircraft’s propellers struck the top of the building before tumbling onto the ground next to the Royal Canal.

He added: “It must have only been a few feet off the ground but they were awful lucky.”

Two men were on board the helicopter at the time.

A witness, who took a video of the aircraft attempting a landing before the incident, said that he started filming as the helicopter ‘got a bit low’, adding: “I went over to take a video. The minute it hit the building I called 999.”

Ciaran Doyle, who was working with his father, told RTE’s Morning Ireland programme: “[The helicopter] was hovering over the canal for about five minutes.

“It started to come in close to the pub, and it started moving towards the back.

“The minute I saw it, my hands started to shake and I picked up the phone and called the emergency services.”

It must have only been a few feet off the ground but they were awful lucky

Pub landlord

Local radio reports suggested there had been some injuries to customers inside the pub while a spokesman for the Department of Transport said that two members of the Air Accident Investigation Unit had attended the scene.

Investigators are currently gathering evidence.