Black Hawk helicopter crashes in Florida, 4 believed dead: reports

Black Hawk helicopter crashes in Florida, 4 believed dead: reports

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A Black Hawk helicopter used for firefighting, with four people aboard, crashed into a Florida marsh on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least one occupant, according to reports.

The crash occurred around 4 p.m. ET near an airport in Leesburg, about 48 miles northwest of Orlando, FOX 35 of Orlando reported.

One occupant was confirmed dead but emergency responders were not hopeful of finding any survivors, reports said.

“The crash appears to be a total loss,” Leesburg Fire Rescue officials wrote on Facebook.

An unspecified mechanical failure was believed to have caused the crash.

“At some point, some kind of mechanical failure evidently occurred and the helicopter went into a tailspin,” Lt. Joe Iozzi of the Leesburg Police Department told FOX 35.

Fire is seen in the area where a helicopter crashed Tuesday near an airport in Leesburg, Florida.

“The tail separated from the main body of the aircraft, the tail went onto the airport runway area and the main body of the aircraft went back into that swampy, wooded area and fire crews are currently conducting a rescue operation.”

Leesburg Fire Rescue posted a photo online that showed black smoke rising from the crash site.

The helicopter was described as a Black Hawk Sikorsky UH-60. It was being used for a training exercise when the crash occurred, Federal Aviation Administration officials told FOX 35.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board will be leading an investigation into the cause of the crash, the FAA officials said.

As of 8 p.m. ET, emergency crews were still working to reach the wreckage, Iozzi told the Orlando Sentinel.

The crash caused a small fire at the crash site but the blaze was soon under control, FOX 35 reported.

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