| 1 December 2023, Friday |

Two firefighting helicopters collide mid-air in California, killing three

Two helicopters collided late on Sunday while fighting a blaze in California’s Riverside County near Cabazon, killing three people, multiple news outlets reported on Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it was investigating the mid-air collision between a Bell 407 helicopter and a Sikorsky S-64E helicopter, in an emailed response to Reuters.

The first helicopter landed safely after the collision but the second one crashed, killing all three people who were on board, CNN reported, citing the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CalFire) Southern Region Chief David Fulcher.

The victims included a contracted pilot, a CalFire division chief and a captain, CNN said, citing Fulcher.

The Riverside County Sheriff had responded to an air emergency at Cabazon late on Sunday involving a crash at the location, it said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Riverside County Fire Department did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

  • Reuters