Cley-next-the-Sea helicopter crash site the size of ‘football pitch’

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The North Norfolk site where four people died following a US Air Force helicopter crash last night has been described as the size of a “football pitch”.

Investigations are continuing into what caused the crash and a strict cordon remains in place around the nature reserve in Cley-next-the-Sea where a significant number of bullets from the crashed aircraft are scattered across the area.

Two helicopters were involved in training activity last night and following the crash the second aircraft landed nearby to assist.

People are urged to keep to the restrictions in place while emergency services, Ministry of Defence, Air Accident Investigation Branch, US Air Force and HM Coroner assess the site.

Chief Superintendent Bob Scully said: “The crash site is about the size of a football pitch, with difficult terrain which makes this a challenging and lengthy process.

“This is mainly on marshland although some debris which was close to the beach has been moved as it would be vulnerable to high tide.

“Further close examinations of the scene will take place this morning and the bodies of the deceased will be removed once this has taken place.”

He added: “The helicopter was carrying ammunition this was in the form of bullets which are scattered across the site, which is why the restrictions are necessary.

“We would like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding at such a challenging time and our thoughts remain with those affected by this tragic incident.”

Specialist military personnel will attend to assess environmental impact while the A149 remains closed through Cley. Access to Beach Road and East Bank is also restricted and there is no coastline access to the crash site.