Two people were killed Tuesday night when a helicopter that was on assignment for Philadelphia station WPVI-TV crashed in New Jersey.
“Just an absolute tragedy,” WPVI reporter Katherine Scott said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The station did not release the names of those who were killed when it announced the tragedy on the air.
The station said the pilot and photographer were veteran employees of WPVI.
Condolences to our colleagues at Channel 6 on loss of their Action News team members in helicopter crash in New Jersey last night. Pilot and photojournalist were aboard when Chopper 6 crashed after 8pm in Wharton State Forest while coming back from an assignment near the shore. pic.twitter.com/NiQm96Nptl
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) December 20, 2023
The helicopter had been returning from the Jersey shore, the station said.
New Jersey State Park Police said wreckage of the crash was found early Wednesday in Wharton State Forest. Roads surrounding the crash site have been closed while an investigation is carried out.
The helicopter was a 2013 American Eurocopter AS-350A-STAR, which the station leased from U.S. Helicopters Inc. of North Carolina.
New Jersey State Park Police Chief George Fedorczyk said due to the remote location of the crash site and bad visibility, the investigation was suspended overnight and would continue Wednesday.
Fedorczyk said the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation. Officials from the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration were arriving Wednesday, according to CBS.
“Our thoughts are with the pilots, their families and the media community,” Fedorczyk said.
The chopper crews typically consist of a photographer and a pilot. 6ABC says they are working to notify family members, while first responders say they’ve made it to the crash site on the ground @NBCPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/klod4xNH8W
— Randy Gyllenhaal (@RandyGyllenhaal) December 20, 2023
The Courier-Post retraced the flight route and noted much of the flight appeared normal.
When the helicopter was over the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway, New Jersey, it dropped down to 700 feet and flew at about 40 mph for about 23 minutes.
The helicopter climbed to 1,000 feet and flew at 100 mph as it made three loops in the area.
The Courier-Post report said the helicopter continued to descend as it flew, until the last data point showed it at an altitude of 200 feet going 119 mph.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.