News Plane Crashes — 22 February 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY – Two people are dead, and a third is critically injured, after an EagleMed helicopter crashed Friday morning between two buildings near NW Expressway and Council in Oklahoma City.

The crash happened just before 5:45 a.m. on the northwest side of the city. Deputy Chief Mark Woodard with the Oklahoma City Fire Department says the helicopter, an AS350, was leaving Baptist Hospital and returning to its home base in Watonga when it crashed.

Neighbors heard a loud explosion and immediately called 911. Drivers in the area reported seeing smoke and flames just after the chopper went down. Witnesses say there was an explosion when the helicopter hit the ground, and a second explosion a few minutes later.

The helicopter crashed between St. Ann’s Retirement Center and St. Ann’s Nursing Home. The copter did not hit any buildings, and no one in those centers was hurt.

Three crew members were on board. Two were killed in the crash. Three nurses from St. Ann’s Nursing Home rushed to help.

They, along with people passing by, pulled a third crew member from the wreckage just before the second explosion.

The third crew member has been hospitalized in critical condition.

News 9 has also learned one person on the ground was hurt while trying to help that lone survivor, but the injuries are not serious.

Police have reopened traffic on Britton between NW Expressway and Rockwell, but police and emergency personnel remain in the area.

Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board have arrived at the site and are inspecting the wreckage.

This is the second fatal EagleMed crash within three years. In July 2010, an EagleMed helicopter crashed in Kingfisher County, killing pilot Al Harrison and flight nurse Ryan Duke. Another crew member, Mike Eccard, survived the crash.

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