Two dead after helicopter hits power lines, burns and crashes
Harrowing video shows an upstate New York helicopter crash that killed two occupants and injured two others after the craft struck power lines during repair work, according to police and local reports.
The chopper was carrying four people, including utility workers, when it struck the wires on Burke Road in Beekmantown, NY, around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
The Aerospatiale AS355 burst into flames after coming into contact with the wires just south of the Canadian border, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the accident along with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Footage of the crash shows the flame-engulfed aircraft stuck in the power lines briefly before plummeting to the ground below.
“A couple of the deputies started immediately performing lifesaving measures on two of the individuals,” Clinton County emergency services director Eric Day told local NBC5. “They dragged them away from the fire, away from the crash scene and actually initiated CPR on one of the individuals.”
The aircraft’s four occupants were rushed to University of Vermont Health Network at Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital.
The pilot, Robert Hoban Jr., 56 of Shamang, NJ, and passenger Jeremy Kearns, 30, of Massena, NY, could not be saved, according to state police. Two others, Scott Fabia, 34, and Benjamin McAllister, 30, were treated and released.
The New York State Power Authority contracted New Jersey-owned Catalyst Aviation to work on the power lines, a NYPA spokesman said.
The helicopter company lost one of its own, Robert Hoban, a father of daughters who was once married to Catalyst’s owner and founder.
“I had the privilege to once be married to one of the men that lost their life today. He was the father of our children and one of my dearest friends,” said Maria Palmer in an emailed statement to The Post.
“Finally, and tragically, Robert was not the only loss of life. I never met this man and I know his family is as ours, suffering and hoping to wake up tomorrow knowing it was a nightmare and hug their beloved Jeremy. My heart is breaking for each of you.”
Police have not yet released any additional information about the victims.
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