New York Daily News
A Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue helicopter carrying three crew members hit a Pompano Beach apartment building Monday morning.
Smoke wafted from from the spiraling Eurocopter EC135 chopper prior to the collision. Aerial footage shows a broad hole in the roof of the building where charred debris can also be seen.
Two people were killed including 50-year-old Broward County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Terryson Jackson, Sheriff Gregory Tony posted on social media. A woman inside the building also died, according to Local News 10.
Two brothers who were inside the apartment building are unaccounted for, their family said. The condition of that pair is unclear. A Pompano Beach spokeswoman reportedly said two civilians inside the apartment building helped the victims out of the chopper. Two crew members were hospitalized with injuries that aren’t critical.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel said the crash happened shortly before 9 a.m. near the Pompano Beach Airpark, which houses the Goodyear Blimp.
Victoria Walczak, who was inside the apartment building where the helicopter crashed, likened the sound of the impact to a bomb being dropped.
“[It] sounded louder than thunder,” she told the Sun Sentinel.
📍Unreal Updated Footage UPDATE📍— Kyle.Taylor *community noter* (@livingbyyyz) August 28, 2023
Video appears to show 2 crew members escaping the crash from earlier.
A Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue helicopter crashed into an apartment building in Pompano Beach Monday morning, authorities confirmed.#florida pic.twitter.com/YP7p98RsMd
Isma Toussaint, 60, was among the residents evacuated from the building. He saw a “big fire.”
Neighbor Brian Piggott said he watched the helicopter trailing smoke after taking off, then losing altitude and diving into the building.
Tony said the chopper placed a distress call minutes after leaving the ground.
Another witness inside the apartment complex told Local 10 they heard “a ‘pop, pop, pop, pop’” and saw flames “everywhere.”
Rescue efforts are underway. The FAA plans to investigate the cause of the crash.
Pompano Beach is a popular locale on Florida’s southeast coast roughly 10 miles south of Fort Lauderdale. Tony said the chopper had just been dispatched to North Lauderdale to assist a mother and daughter at the time of the wreck.
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