Bell Longranger Crash

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Wallace 'shocked' by helictoper crash

The helicopter lands earlier with Mr Wallace on board
The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace has spoken of his shock after a helicopter crashed just hours after he was on it.

Three people were injured, including a Liberal Democrat election campaign worker, when the aircraft crashed into a field at Crichton, about five
miles south of Dalkeith in Midlothian.

The helicopter was being used by the party on the final leg of their election tour.

The injured were all taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

As Mr Wallace arrived in his Orkney constituency on Wednesday night, he described the crash as "a sobering incident".

He named the Lib Dem campaign worker who was injured in the crash as David Webster.

Mr Wallace said: "Mr Webster and the pilot have minor injuries such as scratches and wounds but have been taken to hospital for observation.

"The co-pilot is somewhat more seriously injured but I have heard that his injuries are not life-threatening."

Mr Wallace added: "They are very much in my thoughts and I would wish them all the very best recovery, and I certainly would like to speak to each of them as soon as is appropriate."

The helicopter, understood to be operated by Lothian Helicopters, took off from Greenock on Wednesday morning with Mr Wallace and Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore on board.

Their first stop took them to Glasgow, where they landed briefly at a playing field in the Toryglen district to speak to activists.

It flew on to Perth and then to Aberdeen, where the men got out about 1300 BST, Mr Wallace to head for his constituency in Orkney.

A party spokesman said the crash happened when the aircraft was on its return journey.

Emergency services were alerted at about 1530 BST when it came down on Longfaugh Farm.

Mr Wallace is interviewed beside the aircraft
Eye-witnesses said the helicopter plunged 150ft into a hillside after hitting a power line and damaging its tail rotor.

Scott Riddell, a member of the family running the farm, said the helicopter had come down in a hilly field.

He described the aircraft's occupants as "shaken, but not seriously injured".

The Scottish Ambulance Service said a man, aged 31, was taken by air ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with neck pains.

A second man, aged 47, complained of back pain and was suffering from shock, while a third, aged 39 escaped injury.

Two fire engines, a heavy rescue tender and a support unit went to the scene and sprayed a foam blanket around the helicopter to absorb escaping fumes.

Firefighters remained on scene as a safety measure to keep watch on the helicopter and the damaged overhead power lines.

Air accident investigators are to launch an inquiry.

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Looks like they got off lightly to be fair! - Looks like a Longranger from the pics as opposed to a Jetranger

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