LEESBURG, Fla. (AP) — A firefighting helicopter with four people on board crashed near an airport in central Florida, killing at least one person, officials said.
The helicopter crashed into a marsh near Leesburg International Airport during a training exercise around 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a news release.
One body was recovered Tuesday night and no survivors have been found, Leesburg Fire Rescue said in a Facebook post.
“The crash appears to be a total loss,” the post said.
Hours after the crash, rescue crews were still trying to get to the wreckage to see if there were any survivors, the Orlando Sentinel quoted Leesburg police Capt. Joe Iozzi as saying.
A search and rescue effort began immediately after the crash, but the crash site couldn’t be cleared because of hazards in the area, the Leesburg Police Department said in a news release Wednesday.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board issued a separate news release saying they will investigate.
The aircraft belonged to Brainerd Helicopters Inc./Firehawk Helicopters, located at Leesburg International Airport, the release said.
The company’s aircraft support efforts to fight wildfires and participate in other commercial activities, according to its website. An unidentified woman who answered the phone at the company on Wednesday said the company had no immediate comment.
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