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Three people injured after helicopter crash in ocean near Miami Beach coast

Three people were injured when a helicopter crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Miami Beach, firefighters said.

The crash happened around 1:10 p.m., Miami Beach police said in a Tweeter. Video released by police showed the plane, a Robinson R44 helicopter, plunging dangerously into the water near the crowded beach.

There were three people aboard the helicopter according to the Miami Beach Fire Department. The pilot is said to be in stable condition and “doing well,” a spokesperson told NBC News.

Both passengers were in the back seat and had broken backs, according to the spokesperson. All three were taken to hospital in stable condition.

The fire department spokesman said those who were in the water at the time of the accident were not injured. The spokesperson said that if the crash had happened 50 meters closer to land “we would have had a high casualty event on our hands”.

Parts of the beach have been closed. Several agencies were on the scene, including the Federal Aviation Administration. The cause of the accident remains unknown.

“The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will lead the investigation and provide additional updates,” the FAA said in a statement.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

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