Los Angeles, Feb. 20 (IANS): A pilot has died and another was injured after a police helicopter crashed Saturday night in the western US state of California, authorities said on Sunday.
The helicopter crashed in the Newport Beach area of Orange County around 6:30 p.m. local time (0230 GMT Sunday), according to the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD).
“It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Officer Nicholas Vella, a 14 year veteran of the HBPD. Officer Vella passed away this evening after our police helicopter, HB-1, crashed in the waters off Newport while responding to a call for service,” the department said in a statement posted to its Facebook page, adding that a second officer was injured and is in stable condition.
A witness at the scene told KABC-TV, ABC’s West Coast flagship station, that people saw the helicopter spinning and rapidly descending into the water, the news agency reported. Xinhua.
Officials said the department’s other helicopters will be grounded for inspections and an investigation will be conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Major Accident Reconstruction Team.