FRANKLIN, N.C. (WJZY) — A patient and three crew members survived when a medical transport helicopter crashed in North Carolina, authorities said. Officials said the chopper was going to a hospital in Asheville when it went down.
The aircraft sustained severe damage but did not catch fire; the cause of the collision remains unclear.
Macon County 911 Communications Supervisor Todd Seagle said the helicopter went down moments after it declared an emergency around 7 p.m. Thursday, WLOS-TV reported.
Macon County Sheriff Brent Holbrooks said the EC-135 helicopter was traveling to Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, when it crashed in Macon County. Holbrooks confirmed all four people on the flight were alive, WLOS reported.
The aircraft was transporting a patient from a medical facility in Murphy, North Carolina. Three people involved in the crash were transported by ambulance to Mission Hospital with minor to moderate injuries and one was transported to Angel Medical Center for evaluation, Macon County Emergency Services Director Warren Cabe said.
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Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which operates LIFE FORCE medical transport helicopters, confirmed the crash of LIFE FORCE 6. The company’s website said the helicopter operates out of Cherokee County, North Carolina, with a base radius of 150 miles (241 kilometers).
This was the first crash in the 34-year history of the LIFE FORCE program, Erlanger Health System said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.