The Royal Canadian Air Force confirmed that a CH-146 Griffon helicopter was returning from south Florida to Opa-locka airport when its inflatable life raft fell out of the helicopter and injured a woman who was in her bed at home at the time.
The aircraft and crew were training water search-and-rescue squadrons in Florida’s mild waters, since it is currently too cold to do so in Canada.
As the chopper circled the Northeast Miami-Dade neighborhood, a woman was in her bed. She could hear the choppers.
“She was lying in bed and she could hear the helicopter going by in circles, then all of a sudden [she heard] a big explosion. She looked and [there was a] big yellow bag on top of the bag and, crash, it blew up just like an explosion. Then she come out screaming. I’ve never seen anything like this,” one witness reported.
The life raft had crashed into the roof of the woman’s house, located at 14805 NE 10th Court.
Their initial thought was a bomb had exploded.
“I heard the lady screaming, ‘Somebody killed me! What happened?’ And I saw her shaking. I see a big hole and then the bag fell down and there’s a yellow rope, as well,” said homeowner Jean Pierre Joseph.
Assistance will be made available to the residents with support and accommodations, according to a Canadian Air Force spokesperson.
An investigation is underway and the raft in back in possession of the Canadian Air Force.