Dramatic footage shows a Broward Sheriff's Office Fire Rescue helicopter spinning out of control today before it crashed through the roof of an apartment building in Pompano Beach, Florida. (See CNN video below, posted by Mike Sington.) The helicopter had been on its way to the scene of a car crash, according to The New York Times, before it experienced mechanical problems and caught fire.
Two people onboard — a pilot and a paramedic — survived the crash and were able to climb out of the wreckage. Unfortunately, a third person inside the helicopter — 50-year-old Capt. Terryson Jackson, a 19-year veteran of the Broward County Sheriff's Office — as well as a woman on the ground, died from the crash, according to The New York Times.
From the Times:
The Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue helicopter was en route to provide medical assistance to a mother and daughter who had been a car crash in North Lauderdale when it started experiencing "mechanical issues" around 8:43 a.m. that led to a fire on board, Sheriff Gregory Tony of Broward County said at a news conference on Monday.
The three people aboard tried to extinguish the fire, he said, but encountered "additional mechanical issues" that sent the helicopter crashing into an apartment building southwest of the Pompano Beach airport. …
"Terryson was a rock star," Sheriff Tony said at the news conference. "He was one of the best of us; one of the brightest. He bled this profession inside and out, all day long." Even as the helicopter was failing, he added, Captain Jackson, a 19-year veteran of the department, and the others aboard, had the foresight to notify the local Fire Department that they would not make it to North Lauderdale to assist the mother and daughter.
And from ABC News:
The pilot, paramedic and two civilians were hurt and taken to hospitals, the sheriff's office said. All of their injuries are non-life-threatening and they're listed in fair condition, officials said.
The fire rescue helicopter was headed to a scene in North Lauderdale at the time of the crash, officials said. Pompano Beach is about 40 miles north of Miami.
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