Millionaire Lord Ballyedmond killed in helicopter crash

Four people died after a helicopter came down in fog near peer's stately home in Norfolk last night

LAST UPDATED AT 09:49 ON Fri 14 Mar 2014

NORTHERN IRELAND'S richest man was among the four people killed in a helicopter crash in Norfolk last night.

The Northern Irish peer and industrialist, Lord Ballyedmond of Mourne, and three others were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police were called to the incident at around 7.30pm after the aircraft came down in a field near Lord Ballyedmond's stately home in Gillingham, near Beccles, shortly after taking off.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the helicopter was en route to Northern Ireland when it came down in thick fog.

Lord Ballyedmond, better known as businessman Dr Edward Haughey, was head of the veterinary pharmaceuticals company Norbrook Laboratories, as well as Haughey Air, a helicopter charter firm.

He became a life peer in 2004 and was named Northern Ireland's richest person in 2013, with an estimated personal wealth of more than £650m. As well as being a member of the House of Lords, he was a former member of the Irish senate.

Another man from County Down is believed to have been on board the helicopter, but details of the other three victims have not been released.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. Norfolk Police said the crash site would remain cordoned off during the day while examinations of the scene were carried out.

Police inspector Louis Provart  told reporters in the early hours of this morning that the force had receive calls from people reporting “rather loud noises, indicating crashes".

He said: "Emergency services are working together in difficult conditions to secure the scene and carry out an initial investigation into the circumstances.

The crash site is in a field and there are some wooded areas nearby."

The site of the crash is about 45 miles from where four crew members died in a US military helicopter crash on a training mission in a nature reserve in Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, in January. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.