• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Investigators say Oxford Brookes University student who died in helicopter accident was not taking selfie


Jul 29, 2022

Investigators have said that an Oxford Brookes University student was not taking a selfie when he was killed by a helicopter's blades.

Jack Fenton, 22, died instantly at a private helipad near Athens on Monday evening with local reports suggesting he had been taking a selfie.

The Greek authorities suggested that he deliberately walked towards the spinning rear rotor blade.

But Ioannis Kondylis, the president of Greece’s committee for aviation accidents, has confirmed the former public schoolboy from Kent was not taking a mobile phone picture when he died – amid continuing concerns that he was not given a proper safety brief, The Sun reports.

Mr Kondylis said: "From the testimonies we have collected, it does not appear from anywhere that the young man wanted to take a selfie.

READ ALSO: Scales of Justice: latest cases from Oxford Magistrates Court

“What is reported is that the 22-year-old was holding a mobile phone and had it to his ear, but it has not yet been clarified whether he was talking.”

Mr Kondylis revealed that Jack left the Bell 407 craft at Lolo Airfield near Spata, Athens, from the right door shortly after it landed – but returned to it and ducked under the tail of the craft.

But as he stooped he must not have seen the invisible rear rotor spinning.

Mr Kondylis went on: "We have taken statements from both the pilot and the two ground staff. These are testimonies that must then be cross-referenced.

“According to them, it appears that all the regulations stipulated by the helicopter's manual were observed.

“One ground employee went to the left door, one to the right, they disembarked and escorted them 20 metres to the building.

“Then one stayed with them and the other ground attendant returned to the helicopter.

“The young passenger, unknown for what reason, returned to the helicopter. We don't know why he came back.

“He didn't say anything to anyone. According to the testimonies, he was holding a mobile phone which he had to his ear, without us knowing if he was talking to someone.

"When one of the ground staff saw him walking towards the helicopter he shouted loudly in English, 'Stop, stop, stop' but he didn't listen.

“The ground staff's voices were also heard by the captain who was inside the helicopter and was wearing headphones. So they shouted out loud.

“The young man, according to the statements, had exited through the right door and did not head back to his seat. He went under the tail section of the helicopter and ended up on the left side where he was hit by the rotor, which at the speed it was turning was not visible.”

READ ALSO: Hero firefighter's last wish may go unfulfilled

Mr Kondylis said CCTV may now play a key role in confirming Jack’s last movements, The Sun reports.

And police now believe he may have strayed into the rotor after going to retrieve his mobile phone after leaving it on board.

Mr Kondylis added: “There is a camera outside the hall. We do not know if this camera has a memory card.

Oxford Mail:

“Yesterday afternoon we submitted a request to the police to examine whether there is audio-visual material, which would help the most in understanding the circumstances of the accident."

A Greek police spokesman last night told the Sun newspaper: “Our investigation is continuing but one of the major areas that we are exploring is that Jack forgot his mobile phone on the helicopter and that’s why he suddenly returned to it.

“We are still in the process of completing our interviews but a number of eyewitnesses saw him with a mobile phone in his hand, moments before he was killed.

“Once our investigation has been completed, we will send the file to the prosecutor who will decide if there are to be any charges.”

A message from our Editor

Thank you for reading this story and supporting the Oxford Mail.

If you like what we do please consider getting a subscription for the Oxford Mail and in return we’ll give you unrestricted access with less adverts across our website from the latest news, investigations, features, and sport.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok for more.

You can also join the conversation in our Facebook groups: stay ahead of traffic alerts here, keep up to date with the latest from court here, share your favourite memories of Oxford here, get your daily dose of celebrity news here and take some time out with news that will make you smile.

If you’ve got a story for our reporters, send us your news here. You can also list an event for free here.