4 dead after firefighting helicopter crashes in Florida

The helicopter crashed during a training exercise near Leesburg International Airport; no survivors found


Update May 27, 2021: The bodies of all four people who were on board a firefighting helicopter that crashed in central Florida Tuesday have been recovered, officials said Wednesday. 

One person was confirmed dead Tuesday night, with the three other occupants of the helicopter being unaccounted for. Authorities confirmed the remains of the other three occupants were also found on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press

The names of the four people who were on the helicopter have not yet been released. A medical examiner is working to positively identify the bodies. 

The helicopter crashed near Leesburg International Airport Tuesday afternoon during a training exercise.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy within our wildland firefighting family," Florida Forest Service Director Erin Albury said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "These firefighters put themselves on the line to serve and protect the lives of others." 

Original report: 

LEESBURG, Fla. (AP) — A firefighting helicopter with four people on board crashed near an airport in central Florida, killing at least one person, officials said.

The helicopter crashed into a marsh near Leesburg International Airport during a training exercise around 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a news release.

One body was recovered Tuesday night and no survivors had been found, Leesburg Fire Rescue said in a Facebook post.

“The crash appears to be a total loss,” the post said.

 

🔥INCIDENT🔥 Currently, RED 1 (Leesburg’s airport crash truck) is on scene of an aircraft crash at the airport. More...

Posted by Leesburg Fire Rescue on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Hours after the crash, rescue crews were still trying to get to the wreckage to see if there were any survivors, Leesburg police Capt. Joe Iozzi said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. Officials did not immediately release additional information.

 

Original story posted at 8:56 p.m. on May 25: 

Associated Press

LEESBURG, Fla. — A firefighting helicopter with four people on board crashed Tuesday near an airport in central Florida, killing at least one person, officials said.

The helicopter crashed into a marsh near Leesburg International Airport during a training exercise around 4 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a news release.

One body was recovered Tuesday night and no survivors had been found, Leesburg Fire Rescue said in a Facebook post. 

"The crash appears to be a total loss," the post said.

Hours after the crash, rescue crews were still trying to get to the wreckage to see if there were any survivors, Leesburg police Lt. Joe Iozzi said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. Officials did not immediately release additional information.

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2021 FireRescue1. All rights reserved.