The Latest: Eyewitness describes Pearl Harbor copter crash

AP News
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Posted: Feb 18, 2016 7:41 PM

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on a helicopter crash into Pearl Harbor in Honolulu (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A tourist visiting Pearl Harbor says a helicopter was shaking slightly before it "plopped" into the water.

Justice Winrich, from Madison, Wisconsin, watched as a helicopter crashed into the water about 20 feet offshore Friday, next to the visitor's center lawn.

She says that as it was coming in, it looked normal and didn't look like it was shaking. As it got closer to the water, she saw dark smoke coming out of the back and it was shaking slightly.

She says three people were swimming to shore.

Officials say a 16-year-old passenger is in critical condition. A 45-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man are in stable condition. Information wasn't available about two others, including the pilot.

The Navy says visits to the nearby USS Arizona Memorial are suspended until further notice.

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1:45 p.m.

Officials say a 16-year-old passenger is in critical condition after a helicopter carrying five people crashed into Pearl Harbor.

Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright says responders treated the boy and took him to a hospital after the hard landing on Thursday.

A 45-year-old woman and 50-year-old man were taken to the hospital in stable condition. Information wasn't immediately available about the two other people, including the pilot, treated and transported by the Federal Fire Department.

The Navy says visits to the nearby USS Arizona Memorial were suspended until further notice.

Federal investigators are heading to the scene.

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12:45 p.m.

A tourist from Australia says she was visiting Pearl Harbor when she heard a couple of loud bangs and realized a helicopter had crashed into the water.

Amber Moncrieff says boats seemed to come from everywhere.

The aircraft made a hard landing Thursday with five people on board. One was in critical condition.

The Navy says operations at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, including visits to the USS Arizona Memorial were suspended until further notice.

Federal investigators are heading to the scene.

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11:43 a.m.

An official with the U.S. Navy in Honolulu says there were no fatalities immediately after a helicopter with five people on board crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

However, a Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman said one person is in critical condition.

Navy spokeswoman Agnes Tauyan (TAW'-yahn) said all five people were recovered from the water after the Thursday crash in Pearl Harbor.

Tauyan says the helicopter went down near the Arizona Memorial visitors center then sank in the ocean.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie said it was civilian helicopter.

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11:32 a.m.

Authorities in Hawaii say one person is in critical condition after a civilian helicopter made a hard landing in the water near Pearl Harbor.

The Coast Guard said five people were aboard the helicopter Thursday. Coast Guard Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie says it was civilian helicopter, "possibly a news chopper."

McKenzie says all five people were transferred to land after the hard landing, which occurred near the Arizona Memorial, a popular tourist destination in Oahu.

A Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman confirms one victim was in critical condition.

The Coast Guard received notification of the accident at 10:25 a.m.