(AP) — An Atlanta police helicopter flying low on a search for a missing 9-year-old child crashed near a major city intersection overnight, killing the two officers aboard, authorities said.
Police spokesman Carlos Campos confirmed the deaths but said no one was hurt on the ground in an area just blocks from a busy east-west artery, Interstate 20, and in a neighborhood populated by fast food restaurants, stores, a major pharmacy and other outlets.
The helicopter carrying the searchers went down about 10:30 pm. Saturday in the city’s northwestern reaches. Photographs broadcast on local television soon after the crash showed what appeared to be flaming debris on a roadway.
Campos told The Associated Press by telephone that authorities were trying to determine what events had led up to the crash, but he said a search was under way for the missing child at the time. Although Campos did not elaborate, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution later reported that a missing child was subsequently found unharmed.
Campos said authorities were working with federal aviation authorities on the scene.
Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told The Associated Press by email that the FAA was opening an investigation.
A photographer for AP said power was blacked out in an area near the site and a Georgia Power utility crew was on the scene.
Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, confirmed in an email to AP that the FAA investigation was beginning but she didn’t know the type of helicopter involved yet. She said the National Transportation Safety Board would be joining in the investigation and would try to determine the cause of the crash.