Police helicopter in Brazil chops off lorry roof when driver smashes into the rotor blades

Police helicopter chops off lorry roof when driver smashes into the rotor blades as aircraft prepares for take-off from a Brazilian city street

  • Helicopter was on a road in Brazilian city of Rio Branco and had been on patrol
  • Passing lorry, used by the state to transport hospital waste, collides with blades
  • Two of five chopper occupants slightly injured; three people in truck unhurt 

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A police helicopter preparing to take off from a road in a Brazilian city was seriously damaged, and two of its occupants were injured, when a passing lorry came too close and collided with its blades.

Footage shows the chopper on the ground with its blades whirring in the Second District of Rio Branco, in the northwestern state of Acre - when a white truck turns a corner and tries to go past the aircraft.

Seconds later, a terrible sound is heard as the blades crash against the side of the lorry - ripping off its roof and leaving the rotor wings bent out of shape.

Startled motorists stop and gaze in astonishment as debris is left scattered all around the street - from both the lorry and helicopter, which belongs to the Integrated Centre of Aerial Operations (CIOPAER) of the Military Police. 

The police helicopter gets ready to take off from a road in the Brazilian city  of Rio Branco - just as a lorry starts heading towards it

Police helicopter in Brazil chops off lorry roof when driver smashes into the rotor blades

In a terrible misjudgement, the truck is too close and collides with the chopper's blades - which rip into the side of the vehicle and tear off its roof

Colonel Oliveira, from the Acre Military Police, said there were five people in the helicopter at the time - two commanders and three members of the crew.

He added: 'Two crew members had light injuries and were taken for treatment' and are now 'well'.

The lorry was being used by the Secretary of State for Health's office to transport hospital waste. 

Charles Matos, a manager for the company which the lorry belongs to, said none of the three people in the vehicle were injured.

Police helicopter in Brazil chops off lorry roof when driver smashes into the rotor blades

The rotor blades were destroyed as a result of the incident.

Two of the five occupants of the helicopter were slightly injured and are now 'well', according to Colonel Oliveira, from the Acre Military Police

Police helicopter in Brazil chops off lorry roof when driver smashes into the rotor blades

The damaged lorry, seen above, was being used by the Secretary of State for Health's office to transport hospital waste.

None of its three occupants was injured

CIOAPER coordinator Nayk Souza said a police barrier was in the area at the time of the incident and that all safety regulations had been followed.

Souza said: 'This type of patrol with aircraft at specific landings happens everywhere and, to make it clear, this is an area where there was a police barrier, so there were signs and there was also one of the crew members at the time outside the aircraft. 

'He only entered the aircraft when it was ready for take-off.

At the time of takeoff, the lorry went back and hit one of the blades.'

The helicopter had been participating in 'Operation Close Border' and was patrolling the area, according to Col Oliveira. 

Local Security Secretary Ricardo Brandao said the helicopter had been taking off 'from a strategic [zone] where it could easily access all the areas of the city quickly and effectively'.

An investigation into the cause of the incident has been launched.

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