The wreckage of a helicopter at the accident site in Gillingham, Norfolk, Britain, yesterday.
LONDON: An entrepreneur and politician who was Northern Ireland’s richest man was among four people killed when a helicopter crashed in thick fog in eastern England late on Thursday.
Lord Ballyedmond, a Conservative peer in the House of Lords, was in the twin-engined AgustaWestland AW139 when it came down near the town of Beccles in Norfolk.
The 70-year-old, known as Edward Haughey until he was made a peer in 2004, was founder and chairman of Norbrook, a veterinary pharmaceuticals company.
Haughey owned Gillingham Hall, a stately home near the crash site. His personal fortune was worth £860m ($1.43bn), according to The Sunday Times newspaper’s Rich List 2013.
Reports said Ballyedmond’s company Haughey Air Ltd lodged a writ against AgustaWestland last year over concerns about the in-flight mapping systems of a helicopter supplied by them.
A spokesman for AgustaWestland said it could not comment on possible defects with Lord Ballyedmond’s helicopter but said it was investigating.
Officers were called to the accident scene at 7.30pm local time (1930 GMT) after members of the public reported hearing a loud crash, Norfolk police said.