A helicopter with 10 people aboard has crashed on Friday near the town of Medias (north of Sibiu County, central Romania). The Emergency Situations Inspectorate (ISU) of Sibiu confirmed several of its crews were heading towards the crash site, following information received at the 112 emergency phone number, indicating a helicopter has crashed near the villages of Stejerisu and Malancrav, close to Medias. Minutes after the crash, Ministry of National Defence confirmed the helicopter was military.Defence Minister Mircea Dusa went to the site of the incident.The helicopter, a Puma-Socat aircraft belonged to Airbase 71 of Campia Turzii and was in a mission to participate in an exercise at the shooting range of Cincu (Brasov County). A committee of the Air Forces Headquarters accompanied the minister to investigate the circumstances of the incident.Vice Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea, also minister of interior and responsible for national security was heading a military prosecutors and police criminalists taskforce to the site where the military helicopter has crashed . Oprea has ordered the emergency activation of the Central Operational Command Centre of the Romanian Government and the Command Centre of the MAI to coordinate the survivor rescue operations and the investigation of the conditions of the accident. Forces of the Romanian Police, of the Emergency Situations Inspectorate of Sibiu and two helicopters of the SMURD [Emergency Mobile Resuscitation and Extrication Service] went immediately to the impact area..
Minister Dusa: “We are profoundly saddened by the loss of our comrades”
Minister of National Defence, Mircea Dusa, laments the disappearance of eight servicemen in a condolence message sent after the tragic helicopter crash of Friday in Sibiu County. “We are profoundly saddened by the loss of eight of our comrades in the line of duty. We can hardly accept the disappearance, so early and so tragically, of these brave young men, venturesome men of difficult and full of risk missions that Romanian aviators fulfill as defenders of the Homeland. The Romanian Army brings pious homage to the servicemen who lost their lives today and shows heartfelt solidarity with their families. We are doing all that is humanly possible to ease their suffering in these particularly tragic moments”, Dusa shows in a press release remitted on Friday by the Ministry of National Defence. The Minister expresses his conviction that all Romanians stand behind the Army personnel now mourning its comrades fallen in the line of duty. “I wish to present again, on behalf of the Romanian Army, and on my behalf, sincere condolences to the grieving families mourning their children, husbands or brothers. May God have mercy on their souls!”, said Dusa. Monday, November 24, from 8.30 onward, in all military units in the country and those deployed outside Romania, military and religious ceremonies will be organized to commemorate the eight servicemen who lost their lives, the Defence Ministry also informs.
The wounded servicemen brought to Bucharest for medical care
The two servicemen wounded in the helicopter crash in Sibiu County, Captain-commodore Corneliu-Gabriel Titian – aged 47, and Chief Master Sergeant Valentin Bora – aged 41, were brought Friday evening to Bucharest aboard a military plane. ”The eight troops killed in the helicopter crash this Friday are: Air Commodore Artur-Grigore Palfi, aged 46, married, father of one; medical service Captain, doctor Rares-Cosmin Moldovan, aged 34, married, father of one; Captain Razvan Aurel Moldovan, aged 29, married; Sub-lieutenant Andrei-Catalin Apostol, aged 25, unmarried; Chief Master Sergeant Paul Badescu, aged 41, unmarried; Senior Master Sergeant Dorin Fodor, aged 43, married, father of two; Master Sergeant Vasile-Marian Gadalean, aged 33 unmarried, father of one; and Master Sergeant Constantin-Dorin Filip, aged 30 unmarried,: the Ministry of National Defence said in a Friday statement to Agerpres.
The helicopter was underway from the Campia Turzii 71st Air Base for a military drill at the Cincu shooting grounds (Brasov County).
Doctors’ prognosis for the two survivors, cautious
The doctors’ prognosis for the two servicemen who survived the helicopter crash occurred on Friday in Malancrav – Brasov County is cautious, said Dr. Adrian Stanculea, spokesperson for the Bucharest Plastic, Reconstruction and Burn Surgery Emergency Hospital, where the two were brought Friday evening. “Two men aged about 40 were admitted the night before; they had burns on around 40 percent of the body. One of them also has a facial trauma and 30 percent of his burn injuries are of the third-degree. The other’s deep burn injuries are not that extended, but he also has a radius fracture. They will operate on Monday on the one with more extensive deep-burn injuries. The badly damaged portions will be removed and replaced with skin grafts. The prognosis is quite cautious, and for the patient with the serious deep burn injuries it is even more unoptimistic, he is further intubated. But then, they are young people,” Dr. Stanculea said on Saturday. He also mentioned that a bronchoscopy would be performed on the man with a facial trauma to remove a foreign body from a bronchus. “After the bronchoscopy we will determine if the patient also has respiratory tract burns. The main problem with airway burns is not what is seen on the upper sections, but what develops if the patient has burns to the lower airways. And this is seen in time,” Stanculea added.
The hospital spokesman said that operating on the other patient has not yet been an option, because “as he has less deep burns, chances are for a part of them to heal” and the opportunity of an operation will be considered later.
Doctor Stanculea explained that the prognosis is cautious for patients with burns on 40 percent of the body surface because “the burn is one of the most severe aggressions on the body and the response to it is completely individualized.”
More than that, “one cannot issue a reliable prognosis, as the evolution depends on a lot of factors”, said Dr. Stanculea.
He also voiced his opinion that in medical terms the intervention for the two patients was fast.
“I don’t think a faster response could have been possible,” Stanculea said.
U.S. charge d’affaires sends heartfelt condoleances to the families of the eight servicemen killed
Charge d’affaires of the United States Embassy in Bucharest, Dean Thompson, has sent condolences to the families of those who have perished on Friday in the helicopter crash that took place near Sibiu. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of those who perished in today’s helicopter accident near Sibiu and we pray for the quick recovery of those injured,” the American diplomat conveyed in a Facebook post.
President-elect expresses his full compassion and solidarity to the families who lost their members in the tragedy
President-elect, Klaus Iohannis, has sent, on Friday, condolences to the families of servicemen who lost their lives in the air crash of Sibiu county, wishing speedy recovery to the survivors of this tragedy. “I have received, with great sadness, the news of a crash of a IAR-330 PUMA military helicopter, that left eight servicemen dead and another two wounded. In these moments of pain, I express my full compassion and solidarity towards the families of the deceased servicemen and I address to them sincere condolences. My thoughts are now also with the survivors of this accident, to whom I wish speedy recovery”, said Iohannis, in a press release of the National Liberal Party, remitted to Agerpres.
U.S. Secretary of Defense mourns this loss, offers condolences to the families of the fallen
U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, offered condolences to the families of the eight Romanian service members killed in a helicopter crash on Nov. 21, while en route to a joint exercise with U.S. forces, informs a release of the Pentagon.In a statement released on this sad occasion, Hagel praised Romania as a ‘stalwart ally and partner of the United States,’ stressing that the American military ‘deeply appreciates the dedication and sacrifices of the Romanian troops who have served alongside U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe.’ ‘As we mourn this loss, we reaffirm our commitment to defending our shared interests and values, and to strengthening our collective defense. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen, their loved ones, and the Romanian people,’ the U.S. Defense Secretary also said.
The eight fallen servicemen honoured at the “Nicolae Balcescu” Land Forces Academy in Sibiu
Minister of National Defence Mircea Dusa announced that a ceremony will take place on Sunday, as of 14:00 hrs, at the “Nicolae Balcescu” Land Forces Academy in Sibiu, in honor of the eight servicemen killed in the helicopter crash occurred on Nov. 21 in Malancrav – Sibiu County. “I met with the members of the mourning families. I offered condolences and probably tomorrow, after all legal formalities are completed, around 14:00 hrs, we will organize a military and religious ceremony here, at the Land Forces Academy,” the Minister of Defence said in Sibiu city on Saturday, adding that the Ministry will a assist the bereaved families with the funeral ceremonies. Dusa also thanked the rescuers of the two survivors of the crash, offering each of them a set of military binoculars.
“(…) I want to thank them for their courage and humanitarian spirit. They saved the two servicemen whom we subsequently took to Targu Mures and then to Bucharest,” Minister Mircea Dusa said of the two locals who immediately rushed to the site of the accident to offer help. Asked by journalists about the stage of the investigation into the causes of the accident, the Minister of National Defence answered: “This is a very sad moment and for the time being I’d only say that I wanted to meet with the families and convey my condolences, and with the two young rescuers and thank them for their humanitarian spirit.”
President-elect Klaus Iohannis participated at the military ceremony held yesterday in Sibiu to honor the memory of the fallen.