UPDATED: Almost four hours after a commercial helicopter with five people on board went down in remote bushland near Mount Kosciuszko, rescuers are still struggling to get them out.
One person with critical injuries is being airlifted to Canberra Hospital but NSW Paramedics are still in the process of extricating some of the others.
The helicopter was contracted to help the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and was operating in Kosciuszko National Park when it was forced to make an emergency heavy landing near Guthega Power Station.
The crew onboard were four NPWS staff and the commercial pilot of the aircraft.
All five survived the impact, although two members of NPWS staff and the pilot are reported to have sustained injuries requiring winch rescue.
NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, the Rural Fire Service (RFS), State Emergency Service (SES) and NPWS are at the scene.
NPWS is supporting affected staff and their families.
Communication on the ground remains an issue.
2 PM: A helicopter with five people on board has crashed near Mount Kosciuszko today (11 March), critically injuring one of them.
Just before midday, NSW Ambulance operators received reports that a helicopter had gone down at Wilson’s Valley near Guthega Power Station.
NSW Paramedics responded with five road crews and two rescue helicopters.
Upon arrival, they found five people – one in a critical condition with spinal and pelvic injuries, another in a serious condition and three other people who are considered stable.
The accident happened in what’s been described as a “really remote area”, with the communication line between the paramedics currently unstable.
The most recent plan was to airlift the two people with more severe injuries out of the location and walk the other three back to the ambulances.