Six passengers who were aboard a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter that crashed Saturday in the Angeles National Forest are expected to survive, authorities said.
The helicopter was carrying five sheriff’s deputies and one doctor who was on a ride-along, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during a news conference. The crew was on the way to assist the fire department in a rescue, he said.
The crash happened just before 5 p.m. when the aircraft “suffered a hard landing and a rollover,” Villanueva said.
“We’re very thankful that everyone survived,” Villanueva added.
Five victims were airlifted to a hospital, and one was in critical condition, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said earlier. The passengers were the pilot, the co-pilot, a crew chief, two paramedics and a doctor. The doctor wasn’t injured, Villanueva said.
Standing outside the hospital, the sheriff stressed the importance of the helicopter crew, noting they do between 500 and 700 rescues a year.
“It was their turn to be rescued,” he said.
In a tweet, the sheriff’s department thanked the community for “the outpouring of support for our Deputies during this unfortunate incident.”
The cause of crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, Villanueva said.
The FAA identified the aircraft as a Eurocopter AS332L1.