British tourist killed by helicopter propeller in Greece; 3 arrested, including the pilot

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BUT British tourist was killed by a helicopter propeller after landing in Greece, and now, according to reports, the pilot and two members of the ground crew are charged with negligent homicide.

A group of British tourists returning from Mykonos landed at a private helipad in Spata and had to board their cars to travel to Athens International Airport, where they planned to board a private plane and return to the United Kingdom. But after the helicopter landed, 22-year-old Jack Fenton from Kent died after stumbling into the still-spinning propeller blade of a Bell 407.

Ioannis Kandyllis, President of Greece aviation accident committee said four passengers, including Fenton, got off the helicopter and were escorted back to a private lounge to await their flight back to London. But once they were in the cabin, the victim pulled away and returned to the airfield, “rushing towards the helicopter at a fast pace,” Kandillis said, according to The Telegraph.

“Witnesses we spoke to said that he had a phone to his ear and walked quickly towards the plane, ignoring the cries of ground personnel: “Stop, stop!” A few seconds later, a tragic accident occurred. It was terrible,” he said.

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Emergency services at the scene of an incident involving a British man in his twenties who died when he was hit by the rear rotor of a helicopter in Spata, near Athens.

Emergency services at the scene of an incident involving a British man in his twenties who died when he was hit by the rear rotor of a helicopter in Spata, near Athens.
(Required: Photo by John Liakos/Intime News/Athena Pictures/Shutterstock)

But friends who traveled with Fenton, a junior account manager at a social media marketing firm, vehemently denied parts of the Candyllis story, including that Fenton was on the phone.

“No instructions were given when getting out of the helicopter and no one escorted us to the salon. All they did was open doors for us,” Fenton’s friend Jack Stanton-Gleaves, 20, told MailOnline. None of us made it to the living room before the accident happened.”

“I heard people say that Jack was on the phone and ran back to the helicopter and that is completely untrue,” he added. “He wasn’t on the phone, and why he turned to the back of the helicopter, I don’t know.”

Tape on the back of a Bell 407 Superior Air Helipad at Spata, near Athens, where a Briton died when the helicopter's propeller struck him after landing.

Tape on the back of a Bell 407 Superior Air Helipad at Spata, near Athens, where a Briton died when the helicopter’s propeller struck him after landing.
(Required: photo by Intime News/Athena Pictures/Shutterstock)

Fenton reportedly attended Oxford Brookes University and previously attended the $43,200-a-year Sutton Valence School in Maidstone, Kent. His mother, Victoria, said her son did not drink.

“He got out safely when the helicopter landed in Athens, but for some reason went back behind the helicopter and was killed by the rear rotor. It happened instantly,” she told the Daily Mail. “He was out last night, but he drank nothing but water all day yesterday. He and his friends were sober.”

Greek state news agency ANA reported that the pilot and two ground crew members were detained for interrogation. A Greek police spokesman told The Telegraph they would be charged with negligent homicide and transported to Athens to stand trial.

A helicopter takes off from the Superior Air helipad in Spata, near Athens, where a man died when the helicopter's propeller hit him after landing.

A helicopter takes off from the Superior Air helipad in Spata, near Athens, where a man died when the helicopter’s propeller hit him after landing.
(Required: photo by Intime News/Athena Pictures/Shutterstock)

“How the accident happened is still under investigation. It was a very unfortunate incident. We hope that the British family will remain strong, ”said a police spokesman.

The judge will decide whether to release the three or keep them in custody.

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“We support the family of a Briton who died in Greece and are in contact with local authorities,” a spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department said.