The helicopter missing since this morning was found between San Severo and Apricena, in the Foggiano area. This was announced by the vice president of the Puglia Region Raffaele Piemontese. All seven people on board died: they are a Slovenian family on vacation with two teenage children, a 118 doctor, and the pilot and co-pilot, crew members. The area of the discovery is in Castel Pagano in the countryside of Apricena, a rural area between Apricena and San Marco in Lamis, in the West Gargano. The first 118 units from Lesina (Foggia) and three civil protection teams from Apricena in addition to the carabinieri arrived on the spot.
At the moment the causes that led to the crash are not known. The chief prosecutor of Foggia, Ludovico Vaccaro, also went to the scene of the tragedy, in the company of the deputy prosecutor Matteo Stella. The prosecutor is considering opening an investigation file for negligent aviation disaster. In the next few hours, technical / scientific checks will be carried out on the remains of the aircraft and in particular on the black box on board. Following the accident, the National Agency for Flight Safety (ANSV) ordered the opening of a safety investigation and the sending of an investigative team to the site of the tragedy involving the helicopter A 109 brands of I-PIKI identification.
Fatal change of plans
The Ljubljana family – made up of Bostjan Rigler, 54, Mateja Curk Rigler, 44, and their sons Jon and Liza Rigler, aged 14 and 13 – had arrived yesterday at the Tremiti and should have returned to Foggia already in the evening but due to bad weather conditions the trip had been postponed to today. On board the helicopter there were also pilots Luigi Ippolito and Andrea Nardelli, and Maurizio De Girolamo, 64, a 118 doctor.
At the end of his watch on the Tremiti Islands, De Girolamo had taken the 9.10 helicopter to return to the mainland, preferring the flight to the trip by ship due to bad weather. Instead the flight was fatal, probably due to adverse weather conditions and fog. The mayor of San Severo, Francesco Miglio, expressed his condolences. ” A huge tragedy – he wrote in a message – today makes the sky above our heads even more gray. He had decided to return not by sea but by flying, because he had thought it safer. Now continue your flight, continue your journey to a world certainly better than this. You were a friend, always smiling and helpful. Have a good trip doctor ”.
Line for tourists and commuters
The helicopter A 109 of the company Alidaunia had disappeared from the radar around 10.30 this morning. The helicopter left at 9.20 from the Tremiti Islands, in the Foggia area. The last contact was in the area between Apricena and San Severo on the lower Gargano, an area in which an intense storm is in progress with gusts of wind that have hampered searches.