Helicopter Crash: Inquest Into Deaths Of Four Men Opens

The inquest into the deaths of four men in a helicopter crash in Gillingham last Thursday will open today.

Lord Ballyedmond died alongside two pilots, named as Carl Dickerson, chief pilot at Haughey Air Ltd, and Lee Hoyle, a co-pilot at the company. A foreman for the peer's company, 42-year-old Declan Small, was also killed in the crash.

It happened when Lord Ballyedmond's AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter came down in thick fog in a field in Gillingham, near Beccles, at 7.30pm on Thursday.

It crashed close to Gillingham Hall - one of the homes owned by Lord Ballyedmond who was the richest man in Northern Ireland, with an estimated wealth of £500m.

The site has now been taken over by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch who are trying to find out exactly what caused the helicopter to crash.

Today, the coroner will give an overview to the court of how they think that the men died, the inquest will continue when all the evidence has been looked at and a decision can be made.

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