One dead in chopper crash near Wanaka

One of the people injured in the crash is taken from a helicopter to the Wanaka Medical Centre. Photo Mark Price
One of the people injured in the crash is taken from a helicopter to the Wanaka Medical Centre. Photo Mark Price
One person is dead and six more injured - four of them seriously - following a helicopter crash on Mt Alta, near Wanaka, this afternoon, police have confirmed.

The accident happened when a heli-ski flight operated from Queenstown by The Helicopter Line, with seven men on board, crashed on the north face of Mt Alta about 12.20pm, Senior Sergeant Gavin Briggs said.

The helicopter was carrying a pilot, ski guide and five skiers, all of whom were New Zealanders, and one person was confirmed dead, he said.

The survivors had been flown off the mountain by rescue helicopters, he said.

An Otago Daily Times reporter said five of the injured men had been flown first to the Wanaka Medical Centre, with four taken inside on stretchers while one was able to walk in.

However, Snr Sgt Briggs said four had since been flown to Dunedin Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, he said.

Civil Aviation Authority and Transport Accident Investigation Commission staff would be investigating, and the names of those involved would be released once next of kin had been notified, he said.