A mother aboard one of the SeaWorld helicopters that collided and crashed, killing four people, has described the panic onboard during the crash.
Winnie de Silva, 33, revealed for the first time about the catastrophe at the Gold Coast amusement park that left her nine-year-old son Leon in a coma and struggling for his life.
The community support worker from Kenya who now resides in Geelong wants to take her little son on a helicopter joy ride.
Twenty seconds after takeoff, however, she heard a ‘loud bang’ and felt’shaking’ as the main rotor blades of the second helicopter crashed through the cockpit.
“I could see the pilot anxiously tapping all these buttons; he had no idea what to do.” Ms. de Silva told the Herald Sun, “After that, I don’t recall much, but everyone was trembling and anxious.”
After the Sea World helicopter disaster, Ms. de Silva sustained two broken legs, a broken right shoulder, a broken collarbone, and a wounded left knee.
The two Sea World helicopters collided on the Gold Coast in front of hundreds of tourists.
Winnie de Silva, 33, immigrated to Australia from Kenya a year ago, accompanied by her 9-year-old son Leon.
As the Eurocopter EC130 began its descent into the ground, she gripped her son’s hand as tightly as possible.
“The only thing I could see in my eyes was death. I didn’t want to witness death, so I closed my eyes and kept my son’s hand by my side,’ she said.
The helicopter exploded into flames within seconds after crashing into a beach.
She recalls opening her eyes while stuck within the mangled debris.
My right foot and arm were jammed. I recall crying and yelling for assistance… I was unable to escape,’ claimed Ms. de Silva.
Shortly thereafter, a police officer came to her help and requested her name and date of birth, which she could not recall.
Her son Leon has a skull fracture and is battling for his life in the hospital.
Four persons were killed in a helicopter disaster on the Gold Coast on Monday after two Sea World planes collided
In the impact, she sustained two broken legs, major damage to her left knee, a severely broken right shoulder, and a fractured collarbone.
The doctors anticipate that she will remain in the Gold Coast University Hospital for several weeks, and she now faces months of surgery, rehabilitation, and recovery.
However, Leon’s injuries pale in comparison, as he only relocated to Australia a year ago to join his mother.
In the collision, he sustained a broken skull, head trauma, and facial injuries.
He is currently in an induced coma at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, where he is receiving treatment.
How the crash unfolded: A step-by-step breakdown of how the four-fatality crash is believed to have occurred.
Neil, the husband of Ms. de Silva, took the Geelong family on a quick vacation to the Gold Coast and chose to give the couple a 10-minute flight so that they could have the experience despite being on a “cheap vacation”
Mr. de Silva told the Herald Sun on Tuesday, “The hospital called me early this morning to report that the left side wasn’t reacting as desired.”
They requested authorization to drill a hole into the right side of his skull in order to install a monitoring device for his head pressure.
Neil, the husband of Ms. de Silva, took the family on a quick vacation to the Gold Coast and decided to give the couple a 10-minute flight so they could have the experience despite being on a “cheap vacation”
After waving them off, Mr. de Silva observed with “numb” astonishment as they rose into the flight path of the second helicopter, collided in an explosion of glass, and fell to the ground.
Mr. De Silva stated that he felt fortunate that despite their severe injuries, they had both lived. He has created a GoFundMe page to assist with their healthcare expenses.
Investigations continue into the crash’s causes.