The Latest: 2 confirmed dead in Minnesota helicopter crash

AP News
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Posted: Oct 07, 2016 9:08 AM

LINO LAKES, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on a fiery helicopter crash in a Twin Cities suburb (all times local):

7:40 a.m.

Sheriff's officials say two people died when a helicopter burst into flames as it crashed into a field in a Twin Cities suburb. The aircraft crashed near a residential area in Lino Lakes Thursday evening igniting into what Anoka County Sheriff's Cmdr. Paul Sommer described as a "large fireball."

Sommer tweeted Friday that there are two confirmed fatalities. No one on the ground was hurt.

Sommer described conflicting witness accounts of what happened to the helicopter before it crashed about 5:30 p.m. Some witnesses reported seeing the helicopter's blade stop turning before it "dropped out of the sky," he said. Others told authorities that the helicopter began to break up before hitting the ground and bursting into flames.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. Lino Lakes is about 17 miles north of downtown St. Paul.

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This item has been corrected to show Sommer tweeted Friday that two people died, not Thursday.

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6:00 a.m.

A Minnesota sheriff's official says "multiple fatalities" are likely following a helicopter crash in the Twin Cities suburb of Lino Lakes.

The aircraft crashed in a field near a residential area Thursday evening. Anoka County Sheriff's Cmdr. Paul Sommer says it's too early to say who was traveling in the helicopter because "it's basically charred-up debris."

No one on the ground was hurt.

Sommer says witnesses reported seeing the helicopter's blade stop turning before it went down.

Federal Aviation Administration is expected to investigate the cause of the crash. Authorities are asking Lino Lakes residents to contact the police if they find any objects that could be debris from the aircraft.

Lino Lakes is about 17 miles north of downtown St. Paul.