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One dead, one hospitalized after Australian helicopter crash

Staff Writer |
One person was dead and another in a critical condition after a helicopter crashed at a Tasmanian airport on Tuesday night.

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Authorities said the helicopter nosedived into the ground at Hobart airport shortly before 5:30 p.m. local time.

The aircraft was owned by local company Rotorlift, which holds a Tasmania Police search and rescue contract.

Tasmania Police's Inspector John Ward said the deceased person was a man in his 40s, but could not say if he was the pilot or passenger.

He said that the cause of the crash was not known and the investigation was ongoing.

"We are still putting the pieces of this puzzle together," Ward told reporters on Tuesday night.

"An eyewitness did say that the helicopter came down really hard, like a nosedive towards the ground."

"It appears to me it's pretty much broken in half, certainly been a write-off. It's come from 200 metres to the ground."

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed that two investigators would fly to Hobart to conduct the investigation.

"The ATSB will release a preliminary investigation report in approximately 30 days. A final report into the accident may take up to 12 months to complete," it said.

Ward said that four eyewitnesses had provided statements to police and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage from the airport will be reviewed.

All flights departing from Hobart were cancelled pending further notice.

Ward said that the injured man had been in and out of consciousness since being taken to hospital.

"When we manage to speak to him, hopefully in the next 24 to 48 hours we hope to build a picture of what has occurred," he said.

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