LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) — State Route 17 in the Kelly Mountain area of Logan County remained closed Thursday morning following a fatal helicopter crash.
6 dead in helicopter crash in southern West Virginia
Ray Bryant, chief of operations for the Logan Emergency Ambulance Authority, confirmed the death of six people when the Bell UH-1B model went down.
According to the West Virginia Highways Division, crews are still working to remove the helicopter from the roadway due to downed power lines; however, no nearby clients experience an outage. Appalachian Power advises that this is not a corporate line.
The West Virginia Highways Division reports that a state trooper remained at the scene of the wreckage overnight.
The identities of the victims have not been confirmed, but Bryant says the passengers were not local.
He says the helicopter was a Vietnam-era Huey based at Logan Airport and was used for sightseeing flights.
Bryant says at this time it is unconfirmed exactly what happened during the flight. The helicopter crashed on State Route 17 alongside Blair Mountain. Bryant says the plane was on fire when crews arrived on the scene and firefighters extinguished the fire.
Bryant says one of the helicopter’s owners showed up at the scene after the crash.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The road is blocked about a mile from the crash site.
Bobbi Childs, who lives about a mile from where the accident happened, said she called 911 and rushed to the scene. She said she ran back crying, traumatized by what she saw.
People are asked to avoid the area.
The FAA reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will lead the accident investigation.
On Thursday, Federal Aviation Administration officials and members of the National Transportation Safety Board were en route to the site from Washington, DC, according to WV DOH.
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