Who was Jack Fenton? Man, 22, killed by spinning helicopter blades was probably ‘taking a selfie’
It has been said that the helicopter’s pilot is being probed to check if he 'informed passengers' to get out only when 'the propeller and engines stopped'
A young British man has reportedly lost his life after getting hit by spinning helicopter blades. Jack Fenton was on his way back from a family holiday in Mykonos when the tragedy happened in Athens, Greece. Now, investigators are assuming he was probably taking “a selfie in the excitement of the moment” when he lost his life.
A police official, who identified the 22-year-old, said, “He was the first to disembark the Bell 407 helicopter in Athens and as he moved to the back, he was hit in the head by the aircraft’s small rear rotor. There was no chance of him surviving. His death was instantaneous.” A police source also pointed out, “We are examining every eventuality, including the possibility of the boy going there to take a selfie in the excitement of the moment.”
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Fenton was reportedly an alumnus of Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health, who “suffered horrific head injuries caused by a spinning rotor blade” after deboarding the black Bell 407 craft with his three friends at the Superior Air helipad in Spata. His parents were said to be in another chopper. The Sun reported that the victim was “unaware that a rotor was still spinning,” before getting fatally struck at around 6.20 pm on July 25. An insider said, “The pilot saw what had happened and decided to spare the parents the sight of their son - it was horrendous.”
“He flew on to another helipad at Athens where the couple were consoled as it was confirmed that the young man was dead. The cause is being investigated but it remains unclear why this happened - or was allowed to happen when rotor blades pose such an obvious danger,” the source explained as another police insider noted, “We are talking about a tragedy - an unprecedented tragedy - a tragedy that should never have happened.”
Soon after the incident, the pilot of the helicopter and two ground technicians were reportedly taken into custody. Giorgos Kalliakmanis, the Greek police union’s head, said the probe into the case will check if all safety measures were considered after the chopper landed and if it’s found that the pilot did something wrong, he could be pressed with manslaughter charges.
Kalliakmanis said, “We want to see if the pilot informed the passengers to get off the helicopter. These propellers run for about two minutes from the time he turns the engine off unless he presses a button which stops them at 50 seconds. The helicopter door has no security, anyone who wants to open the door and get out. The preliminary investigation will look at whether the pilot informed them to get out when the propeller and engines stopped.”
However, the company that manages the helicopters defended itself by saying all flyers were escorted to the reception area after they landed. Staff working at the helipad reportedly insisted that Fenton “turned around and returned to the runway as the craft was in the process of being shut down.” Meanwhile, the pilot and the two other staff members were presented before a prosecutor to give their testimonies. Along with them, the victim’s pals who were with him when he died also testified.
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Fenton’s employer — Ball Street Network, a South London media firm — where he’s a junior account executive, has expressed its shock over the accident. A spokesman said, “Our team is in shock having just found out about this tragic news. We do not wish to comment further, other than to ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this difficult time. Our love and thoughts are with Jack’s family and friends.”