Authorities are investigating a helicopter crash in California that injured 6 people
Authorities are investigating the crash of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department rescue helicopter in the mountains of southern California that injured six people.
The department’s Air Rescue 5 helicopter crashed shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday while responding to a vehicle that overturned on a winding road in the Angeles National Forest, the fire department said. county.
All six people on board were airlifted to a hospital with various injuries, including broken bones and ribs, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Saturday night.
“They are in stable condition, some more beaten up than others, but grateful to be alive,” Villanueva told reporters outside Pomona Valley Medical Center.
Photos from the scene showed the damaged Super Puma helicopter on its side along a cliffside road in Azusa Canyon near the San Gabriel Dam.
“The fact that it didn’t flip over and come down (the cliff) or there was no fire, is nothing less than a miracle,” he said. said Villanueva.
Five of the helicopter’s occupants were on the Sheriff’s Department crew and the sixth was a traveling doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash, spokesman Eric Weiss said.
Two paramedics aboard the helicopter extracted the pilot and co-pilot after the crash, the Times reported. Firefighters who were already on the scene to help the overturned vehicle were also able to treat the injured, Villanueva said.
The Rescue Helicopter makes hundreds of flights a year over some of the toughest terrain, often flying through tight canyons and facing challenging topography.
The helicopter crew have “saved thousands of lives over the years,” Villanueva said.
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