2 dead, 1 injured after medical helicopter crashes north of Superior

A map shows the approximate location of the downed medical helicopter about 12 miles north of Superior in a remote section of the Superstition Mountains. (Courtesy of CBS 5 News)

A map shows the approximate location of the downed medical helicopter about 12 miles north of Superior in a remote section of the Superstition Mountains. (Courtesy of CBS 5 News)

 

Two people are dead and a third is in very serious condition after a medical helicopter crashed north of Superior Tuesday night, Dec. 15.

According to officials, the helicopter crashed in very rugged terrain in the Superstition Mountains.

Air Methods, which owns the helicopter, confirmed that two crew members had died, one crew member was “safe” and there were no patients on board.

In a media briefing Wednesday morning, Dec. 16, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said the survivor was taken to a trauma center in Phoenix and is listed in very serious condition.

No identities have been released at this time.

The helicopter was returning to Globe from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport when it crashed about 12 miles north of Superior. The aircraft had been reported missing around 6 p.m.

Sheriff Babeu said the survivor signaled rescue crews with a “flashlight device.” A Department of Public Safety helicopter crew saw the crash site and the survivor, but they were unable to land. The crew member was rescued by a military aircraft about 10:15 p.m.

“We are deeply saddened by the news that two of our crew members were taken from us, and our hearts go out to their family and loved ones,” Air Methods spokeswoman Christina Brodsly said in a statement released early Wednesday morning.

Sheriff Babeu said the helicopter is in a precarious situation and crews were working to stabilize it and secure the scene.

There is no word on what caused the crash of the Airbus AS350 B3. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Air Methods issued the following statement Tuesday night:

“Native Air (Ambulance) reported that an accident involving an AS350 B3 occurred Tuesday, Dec. 15, near Apache Junction. At this time we can confirm that three crew members – pilot, flight paramedic and flight nurse – were on board the aircraft. The FAA and the NTSB have our full cooperation as they further investigate the accident. We want to continue to make sure we have all of the facts correct. We will be back in touch with you once we have more information.” 

Editor’s note: Through partnership Independent Newspapers is publishing information provided by CBS 5 News. The story can be found here: http://www.cbs5az.com/story/30761660/helicopter-crashes-in-rugged-terrain-in-pinal-county#ixzz3uUj0euc2

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