Tributes have been paid to five south African HEMs staff who died following a helicopter crash yesterday (21st Jan).
The Netcare 911 helicopter crashed near Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal with no survivors.
A specialist ECMO intensive care rapid transfer team from Netcare Milpark in Johannesburg was aboard the aircraft callsign ‘Netcare 1’ air ambulance en-route to Hillcrest Hospital in Natal to transfer a critically ill patient.
Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare, said:
‘Netcare is profoundly saddened to confirm the passing of five valued colleagues who tragically died in the line of duty in a helicopter crash near Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the families, loved ones and colleagues of Dr Kgopotso Rudoplh Mononyane, an anaesthetist, Dr Curnick Siyabonga Mahlangu a cardiothoracic surgeon and Mpho Xaba a specialist theatre nurse for cardiothoracic and transplant, all from Netcare Milpark hospital.
“Also aboard were Sinjin Joshua Farrance, an advanced life support paramedic at Netcare 911, as well as the pilot of the helicopter, Mark Stoxreiter who worked for National Airways Corporation.
“We are shocked beyond words at the tragic loss of these healthcare heroes.
“The whole of Netcare falls silent as we bow our heads in tribute, respect, love and memory of our fallen colleagues and frontline heroes who have died in the line of duty.
Craig Grindell, Managing Director of Netcare 911, said
“There are no adequate words to describe our enormous sense of loss and grief at this terrible time.
“On behalf of Netcare and Netcare 911 management and staff, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of our colleagues and loved ones of the deceased.
A spokesperson for Netcare confirmed that authorities are investigating the cause of the tragic accident.
Tributes have also been made from HEMs services around the world.
A spokesperson for London’s Air Ambulance said:
‘We are deeply saddened by the tragedy in South Africa.
‘Our thoughts and condolences are with Netcare 911 colleagues, their loved ones and all those affected at this devasting time’.
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