London's Air Ambulance still grounded tonight due to volcanic ash

LONDON S air ambulance was still grounded this evening because of the volcanic ash, despite air ambulances elsewhere in the country being back in the skies. As airports across Europe reopened after six days and air ambulances in Kent and the West Midlan

LONDON'S air ambulance was still grounded this evening because of the volcanic ash, despite air ambulances elsewhere in the country being back in the skies.

As airports across Europe reopened after six days and air ambulances in Kent and the West Midlands were given the all-clear this morning, London's Air Ambulance was still being forced to remain on its helipad at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

The red helicopter was banned from the skies on Friday afternoon following fears the ash from the eruption of the Icelandic volcano could pose a threat to the aircraft's engine.

Restrictions on UK airspace were lifted on Tuesday night but bosses at the Royal London and at the charity HEMS which runs the helicopter were still "assessing the situation" by this evening.


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A hospital spokeswoman said: "Flying will resume once we are satisfied that there is no risk to safety."

The helicopter is able to fly within the M25 area in 12 minutes and the team of paramedics and a senior trauma doctor normally do around three trips a day.

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But hospital bosses insist the Rapid Response Cars are being sent out instead and it had been "quiet" across London over the past six days.

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