NTSB investigators will remove a helicopter’s wreckage from its southwest West Virginia crash site Friday after a fiery incident that killed six people, authorities said.
The helicopter crashed Wednesday in Logan County, near West Virginia's border with Kentucky, Ray Bryant, Logan Emergency Management Authority chief of operations, told USA TODAY.
When crews arrived at the scene, they found the Bell UH-1B helicopter in flames, Bryant said.
All people on board the aircraft died — the pilot, three passengers and with two pilot-rated passengers, said National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Peter Knudson in an email. The victims’ names have not yet been released.
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The helicopter’s flight was associated with the seventh annual “Huey Reunion” that began in Logan County Tuesday, according to MARPAT Aviation, a helicopter facility at Logan County Airport that organized the event.
MARPAT Aviation offers helicopter flights for the event, during which Huey enthusiasts are able to fly or ride in the historic helicopter.
The helicopter left Logan County Airport and crashed on a rural road about 3.7 miles northeast of the airport at about 4:57 p.m. local time, according to the NTSB.
Much of the wreckage was consumed in a post-crash fire, Knudson said. The Bell UH-1B wasn’t equipped with either a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder, nor was it required to be, he wrote in an email.
Bobbi Childs, who lives about a mile from the crash site, told local news station WSAZ-TV she called 911 and rushed to the scene, where she found the helicopter in flames and at least one person trapped inside.
"I ran as fast as I could go and I went under the guardrail and I went up to the helicopter," she told the station. "But the fire was just so hot, so intense."
The Bell UH-1B is a military helicopter that uses a single turboshaft engine, according to the Heritage Flight Museum in Skagit County, Washington. The aircraft first flew in 1956 and was used in the Vietnam War.
The helicopter that crashed was the last scheduled flight of the day, Knudson said, and the route for the flight differed from tour paths flown earlier Wednesday.
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There were two events going on in Logan County at the time of the crash, Sonya Porter, deputy director of the Logan County Office of Emergency Management, told USA TODAY in an email. The City of Logan's Freedom Festival and the Huey Reunion both began Tuesday.
"Cathy and I are praying for the families of those killed in this tragic helicopter crash," West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said on Twitter.
Logan County Emergency Management Services, the Logan County Fire Department, West Virginia State Police and the Logan County Sheriff's Department were among the agencies that responded to the scene, Bryant said.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, the FAA said in a statement. The NTSB said on Twitter it sent a team of five investigators to the crash site.
NTSB investigators will document the accident site, the helicopter, and any perishable evidence that could be relevant to the investigation over the next several days.
The helicopter will be taken to a “secure location for further examination” Friday, according to the NTSB.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Helicopter crash in Logan County: 6 dead after West Virginia crash