Three crew members escaped serious injury in a New Mexico helicopter crash Wednesday after their medical chopper crashed onto the roof of an Albuquerque trauma center.
The helicopter, which was carrying no patients, was taking off from the roof of the University of New Mexico Hospital when it crashed for an unknown reason, The Associated Press reported
. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.
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The pilot was in satisfactory condition, and two were uninjured.
“I saw the helicopter just kind of take off and then it just started spinning sideways and almost hit the side of the building,” witness Stephanie Litten told KRQE. “Then it kind of went up and crash landed
almost on its side really hard.”
Other witnesses told the station that debris flew up in the air and fire, along with black smoke and steam, were evident.
Because of structural concerns, UNM Hospital moved labor and delivery patients from floors five and six, KRQE said.
The hospital was closed for some time after the incident. The helipad will remain closed, and emergency landings will occur at Albuquerque International Sunport or a nearby airfield, which is three minutes from the hospital.
Petroleum Helicopters International owns the helicopter. The helicopter was still on the roof pending investigation, and KOAT reported
that officials said it had an “unforeseen issue.”
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