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Life Raft Falls from Helicopter, Crashes into Miami-Dade County Home

A homeowner in Miami received the shock of her life this past Wednesday when a helicopter used by the Royal Canadian Air Force during search and rescue operations somehow managed to accidentally release a large rescue raft while flying over her home. The Miami-Dade County Police has issued a statement regarding the bewildering incident that recounts how the helicopter was flying directly over a residential area when an 80-pound raft somehow became uncoupled from its harnesses. The report stated that the helicopter was returning to the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport after having spent the day engaged in various training exercises in the ocean off of Florida’s coast.

The raft, well suited to float on top of water but less buoyant when dropping through the air, plummeted to earth and landed directly on the roof of a home in Miami-Dade County. The report did not state what time the raft collided with the house, but we do know that the home’s owner was inside of the building at the time. This individual told reporters with the Miami Herald that the collision of the raft with the home’s roof was so surprising and loud that she at first believed a bomb had gone off somewhere nearby.

Drywall dust, wood, and other bits of debris showered down on her from the ceiling, and it is extremely fortunate that the roof itself did not collapse on her. It is reported that she suffered from some minor injuries which were first treated by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue team responding to the incident. It is not known if a witness to the accident with the raft, the homeowner, or one of the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force inside of the helicopter alerted the police and paramedics, but emergency response crews did arrive at the home shortly after the raft landed.

At this point in time, an investigation into what happened is underway. It seems likely that at the point after the training exercises, when the raft was being reattached to the helicopter, some element was left unsecured, compromising the stability of the connection. It is extremely fortunate that no more serious injuries were sustained as a result of the accident.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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