Two people have been reported dead Friday following a mid-air clash between a helicopter and plane in the Arizonian city of Chandler. According to the local Fire Department, the fixed-wing plane was able to land safely, but the helicopter crashed and caught fire.
The collision happened near Chandler Municipal Airport, said Chandler Police Sgt. Jason McClimans.
McClimans and a Fire Department spokesman, Battalion Chief Keith Welch, confirmed that two people aboard the helicopter were killed. The people on the plane did not need medical attention, Welch said. Nobody on the ground was injured, McClimans said.
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The aircrafts went down near McQueen and Queen Creek roads shortly before 8 AM, authorities confirmed. Landings and takeoffs have been shut down temporarily, a Chandler Police Department spokesman said. Police have asked motorists to avoid the area.
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An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board was underway at the airport.
News video showed a fire crew using a tarp to cover the helicopter’s burned wreckage in brush on what appeared to be a vacant lot or field near the airport’s southern boundary.
News video also showed the plane upright just off a runway. Its fuselage appeared to be intact.
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Police were seeking witnesses and people who may have videotaped the collision and the crash of the helicopter.
On Wednesday, a small plane crashed into a swamp in northern Wisconsin, killing three people on board.
The twin-engine Rockwell International 690B went down about 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of Eagle River, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.
Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport Director Matthew Leitner said Wednesday the plane departed about 8:45 AM Tuesday. Leitner said he received a communication from air traffic control in Minneapolis 45 minutes later that a plane was missing.
With inputs from the Associated Press