3 dead in helicopter crash in Palm Bay

Three people were killed in the fiery crash of an older model, military-style helicopter conducting low-flying maneuvers in the Compound in Palm Bay, authorities report according to Florida Today.

Palm Bay Fire-Rescue crews are at the site of the six-blade helicopter that went down near the compound in the southwest section of the city.

"We do have a crash," said Mike Bandish, spokesman for the Palm Bay Police Department. "It's a larger, military-style helicopter. It's an extensive crash," he said. Police would not confirm how many people were on board the aircraft but said there were other 'causalities.'

The helicopter, however, is privately owned and operated out of Orlando Melbourne International Airport, officials report. A search of the surrounding area was also conducted while Brevard County Fire Rescue crews worked to clean up a localized hazardous spill.

All three people died in the helicopter crash and subsequent fire, Palm Bay police confirmed. The incident was reported about 1:35 p.m. near Freeburg Avenue, between Sapodilla Road and Wingham Drive.

The aircraft was reportedly fully engulfed in flames, on the ground, when the mangled heap was located, police report. At least one person witnessed the immediate aftermath of the crash. Police said helicopter - possibly seen doing maneuvers earlier in the day over the same area - took off from Orlando Melbourne International Airport.

It was not immediately known if anyone was injured or in the crash.


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