2 killed in helicopter crash near Salt Lake City
The copter was in flames with two people trapped when firefighters arrived; they extricated one and tried to resuscitate him but was later pronounced dead
The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Two men were killed when a helicopter crashed Tuesday into an empty industrial building north of Salt Lake City, police said.
The small helicopter hit the roof of a two-story building about 2 p.m. in an industrial area in North Salt Lake.
Two men in the helicopter died at the scene, but the building was empty and no one was hurt on the ground, police Chief Craig Black said.
Ardian Fazliu works nearby and said he saw the helicopter break up into two pieces in the air, with the front part with passengers inside nosedive into the roof of the building. Fazliu said he was about 200 yards away when he heard a weird sound.
"I turned around and heard 'pop' two times. Big noise. Then I saw it in two pieces," he said. "It was pretty scary."
It's not yet clear where the helicopter was going, but officials believe it took off from a small airport just north of the building.
North Salt Lake is a town of 17,000 people about eight miles from Salt Lake City.
When firefighters arrived, the helicopter was in flames, and two people were trapped inside, said Dave Powers, deputy fire chief for South Davis Metro Fire. They took one person out of the copter and tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, Powers said.
The cause of the crash has yet to be determined. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.
Black said they have reports of the helicopter breaking up in the air, but have not been able to figure out yet what happened. Debris from the helicopter was found one-half mile northeast of the crash site, he said.
The building was empty because the company that used to operate in the building, Wimpole Street Creations, just moved to a new location this week, said Kim Burningham, whose sister owns the company.
The company, which makes embroidered dish towels, tablecloths and table runners, has a handful of employees, Burningham said.