A helicopter crashed Saturday afternoon on Miami’s famous South Beach, just yards from swimmers, injuring two and prompting a federal investigation.
The shocking incident, caught on camera, showed a Robinson R44 helicopter plunging into the ocean, meters away from a large crowd of sunbathers and swimmers, at around 1.20pm on Saturday.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an investigation into the crash which occurred “under unknown circumstances”, the agency said.
Authorities have confirmed injuries to two of the three passengers aboard the helicopter. They were taken to the Ryder Trauma Center at the Jackson Memorial.
The three people are said to be in stable condition and no injuries have been reported to bathers.
Video footage of the crash was shared by the Miami Beach Police Department on Twitter. It showed the helicopter rapidly descending and then finally diving near the crowded area where several swimmers and paddlers were enjoying the weekend.
“The beach between 9th and 11th Street is currently closed. The FAA is responding to the scene,” a Miami Beach Police Department spokesperson said.
Several swimmers, who witnessed the scenes and were stunned, shared photos and videos of the wreckage on Twitter.
“I’m sitting on Miami South Beach…a ******* helicopter just crashed into the sea in front of us,” one user said.
“Dude, a fucking helicopter just went down in Miami. Oh my god,” one person can be heard saying in a video shared by another user on the microblogging site.
“We’re sitting on Miami Beach and a chopper literally crashed into the sea right in front of us where people were swimming. WTF,” another user wrote.
In another crash Saturday night, a Huntington Beach, Calif., police department helicopter plunged into water in the Newport Beach area as dozens of onlookers witnessed the crash.
“We can confirm that our police helicopter, HB1, crashed in the Newport Beach area. Rescue efforts are underway and more information will be released as it becomes available,” the Department of font in a tweet.
Two of the helicopter pilots were rescued and taken to trauma centers, the Newport Beach Fire Department said.
The incident in Huntington was first reported around 6:45 p.m. Fox 11 reported that a 14-year veteran of the department died of injuries.
Police, without sharing any details, tweeted that they would hold a press conference on the incident.
The helicopter was reportedly out of control when it crashed into the water.
The Independent Gt