A British tourist in Athens, Greece, was killed after he got too close to a helicopter while trying to take a selfie. Jack Fenton, 22, had just landed after returning from a trip to the island of Mykonos and disembarked from the helicopter.
Authorities said that Fenton decided to walk back toward the helicopter to take a selfie when he was struck by one of the spinning rotor blades.
“All four passengers had disembarked and were escorted to a private lounge awaiting a private flight for London,” Ioannis Kandyllis, president of Greece’s committee for aviation accidents, said, according to The Sun. “But as they were in the lounge, the victim broke away and returned to the tarmac, rushing to the helicopter at a fast pace. Witnesses we spoke to said he had a phone to his ear and was walking to the aircraft quickly, defying ground crew shouting to him, ‘Stop! Stop!’ Within seconds the tragic accident occurred. It was horrific.”
One of Fenton’s friends, who was also on the helicopter, claims that he was not trying to take a selfie.
“No instructions were given when exiting the helicopter, and no one escorted us to the lounge. All they did was open the doors for us,” Jack Stanton-Gleaves told the Daily Mail. “We disembarked on our own, and no one stopped Jack from going to the rear of the helicopter. None of us reached the lounge before the accident happened.”
“I’ve heard people say Jack was on his phone and ran back to the helicopter, and this is totally untrue. He was not on his phone, and why he turned towards the rear of the helicopter, I don’t know,” he added.
The pilot and two ground technicians were taken into custody and could face charges of negligence if it is determined they allowed the passengers to disembark from the helicopter before it was safe.