Helicopter crash off Whitsundays leaves two dead, one seriously injured

Two people have died after a helicopter crashed on a remote Barrier Reef pontoon off the Whitsunday islands in North Queensland, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) says.

It is understood there were five people aboard the helicopter when it crashed at the Hardy Reef pontoon.

The ATSB said one other person was seriously injured and two people suffered minor injuries in the accident.

Emergency services are still on their way to the scene.

The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) has sent a chopper to the pontoon.

QAS said they received a call about the accident at 4:15pm.

The crash site is about 65 kilometres north-east of the Whitsundays.

The police boat Damien Leeding and other vessels are still en route to the site.

The ATSB said the helicopter was a single-engine Eurocopter EC120B.

In a statement, the ATSB said the chopper crashed into the water "in the vicinity of Hardy Reef, north-west of Hook Island".

"A team of transport safety investigators will soon travel to the accident location to commence the evidence collection phase of the investigation," the statement said.

"There, investigators will interview witnesses, examine any available recorded data, review operational records and technical documentation amongst other activities."

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