Flying Doctor service put on hold as copter crash probe continues

IPOH: The Flying Doctor Unit (FDU) service at the Kinta District Health Office will temporarily cease operations following the helicopter crash near Brinchang in Cameron Highlands that injured six people.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this was to allow the ministry to gather information on the safety aspects of the company providing the charter service.

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This, he added, was just a temporary measure for safety purposes.

“This is just for a short while so as to allow us to gather what happened.

“Also, there are two teams for the service (FDU) at the health office, and we need to mentally prepare the other team as well after what happened,” he told reporters after visiting the crash victims at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun yesterday.

In the 1.15pm incident on Wednesday, five personnel from the unit, including a doctor, were on board the helicopter owned by Layang Layang Aerospace Sdn Bhd when it crashed near Brinchang.

All on board, including the pilot, sustained injuries.

Khairy said the daily route for the FDU was from Ulu Kinta-Hulu Perak and Gua Musang early in the morning.

He said for now, findings showed that the crash had nothing to do with the helicopter itself but was due to the bad weather.

“The pilot did his best to land the helicopter safely,” he said, adding that the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) would however carry out its investigation before revealing anything further.

“This is a licensed company, and CAAM went through all the safety aspects previously, but we need to make sure that all is okay.

“I’ve visited all the victims and was told by the doctors that they will recover fully. We hope and pray for their full recovery,” said Khairy.

He also thanked all the search and rescue team members for their efforts.

“A medical officer from the hospital in Cameron Highlands wasted no time and entered into the forest to search for the victims as well,” he said.

On Wednesday, Perak police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri said the five passengers were identified as Dr Munirah Abd Rahman, 53; Zainurol Fazlan Zainudin, 40; Muhamad Azlan Hanifah, 31; Norhasikin Abu Seman, 38; and Hashilawati Hussin,43.

The male pilot was identified as Capt Fedzrol Norazam, 43.

Comm Mohd Yusri had said that the helicopter was heading back to Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta in Perak from Kampung Gawin in Gua Musang, Kelantan, during the incident.

The team was in Gua Musang to carry out community services.

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