Jebel Jais zipline to reopen 'soon' after fatal helicopter crash

A search and rescue aircraft clipped the cable last month, crashing into the mountain and killing its crew

Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates - February 1st, 2018: People fly the world's longest zip line at Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah. Thursday, February 1st, 2018 at Jebel Jasi, Ras Al Khaimah. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Maintenance work is under way at an adventure zipline in Ras Al Khaimah after a helicopter struck the cable and crashed into the mountainside, killing its crew.

Toroverde Ras Al Khaimah, which operates the zipline in Jebel Jais, issued a statement this week saying it was running a full assessment of the cable after last month's fatal accident.

It said the zipline would open "as soon as the necessary maintenance has been completed", saying the safety of its visitors was a priority.

The company said customers with existing bookings would be contacted to be reschedule appointments or be refunded.

Last month, the search and rescue Agusta 139 aircraft was returning from a mission when it clipped the cable, sending the helicopter into a tailspin before crashing at 5.50pm.

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, ordered an immediate, comprehensive investigation into the accident.

Four crew members died in the incident, pilot Saqr Saeed Mohamed Abdullah Al Yamahi, pilot Hameed Mohamed Obaid Al Zaabi, navigator Jasim Abdullah Ali Tunaiji and first aid medic Mark Roxburgh.

The 2.83-kilometre long Jebel Jais zipline became the world’s longest when it opened in February last year, surpassing the 2.5km-long Monster Zipline in Puerto Rico. Riders fly between 120 to 150 kilometres per hour, 1,680 metres above sea level.

The zipline had been closed for more than half an hour when the crash occurred.


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