A US military helicopter destroyed the hospital’s helipad – preventing air ambulances from landing with serious patients.
The £ 50 million USAF Boeing Osprey helicopter – with tilt propellers – landed at Addenbrooke Hospital, Cambridge, on Wednesday during a training exercise.
Dramatic footage filmed on Wednesday shows the giant Bell Boeing CV22B Osprey preparing to land at the helipad.
The US Air Force aircraft stopped on the ground for a while, before preparing to take off again.
But as soon as it began to leave the helipad, the entire structure was torn apart, apparently due to the force of the helicopter’s propeller – with giant chunks of debris flying into the air.
It got off the unusable helipad – with the patient the ambulance now crashed at Cambridge City Airport, three miles away, and transferred to the hospital by ambulance.
Addenbrooke’s is the region’s major trauma center, with helipads used by East Anglian Air Ambulance, Magpas Air Ambulance and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.
Dr. Victor Inyang, Medical Director of East Anglian Air Ambulance: “Due to an incident at the Cambridge University Hospital helicopter airport involving a military aircraft on Wednesday April 21, the airport was on duty. Temporarily doesn’t work for ambulances.
“The next nearest helipad is at Cambridge Municipal Airport, where one of the East Anglian air ambulance squadrons (EAAA) is located.
“The EAAA heliport could be used as an alternative landing site during this time and the patient is transferred to Addenbrooke from there by an ambulance on the ground.
“Addenbrooke’s is the region’s major trauma center, so prompt and efficient transfer of critically ill or injured patients to the hospital is very important.”
“Using the EAAA helipad is the best alternative while the CUH helipad is restored.”
“This area has been surveyed according to our policies and procedures and some damage has occurred,” said Major Keavy Rake, of the US Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing.
“We are taking steps to correct it as soon as possible.
“Our units continuously work with local partners to improve operations.
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“We greatly appreciate the relationship and partnership we have with the UK”
And a Cambridge University Hospital spokesperson added: “While our normal helipad is being repaired, the air ambulances will temporarily land at Cambridge City Airport near by there.
“Patients are then transported to the hospital by ambulance on the road with critical care staff on board, which means we can continue to see and treat them as usual.”