2 Baton Rouge officers die in helicopter crash
WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB/Gray News) - Two Baton Rouge police officers were killed after a helicopter crashed in West Baton Rouge early Sunday morning.
WAFB reports helicopter belongs to the Baton Rouge Police Department.
“Today is a very emotional day for the men and women of the Baton Rouge Police Department,” said Chief Murphy Paul. “Right now, we’re asking the community to lift up our officers in prayer.”
Officials say the wreckage was located in a cane field along N. Winterville Rd., off Highway 190 near Port Allen.
The coroner’s office was called to the scene around 11 a.m.
Sources told WAFB that the helicopter had been sent to assist with a pursuit around 2 a.m. Sunday but never returned.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the helicopter was a Robinson R-44 helicopter and went down around 3 a.m.
“I just heard a loud boom at around 2:30 a.m., quarter to three this morning,” said one neighbor, who asked not to be identified. “Sounded like an explosion.”
It appears no one was aware that the chopper had gone down for many hours.
A search was eventually launched, and the wreckage was found hours later.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will launch an investigation.
Officials are withholding the names of the pilots until all of the appropriate family members have been notified.
“We’re asking the community to be respectful of the investigative process because it does take time so that we can release all the facts related to this incident to the family as well as the community,” added Chief Paul.
East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome released a statement about the incident:
“On behalf of the City of Baton Rouge, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and colleagues of the BRPD officers who tragically lost their lives today in a helicopter crash.
These officers served our community with distinction and bravery, and we will forever be grateful for their service and sacrifice.
We are working closely with the Baton Rouge Police Department to offer support for their investigation into the cause of this tragedy and to provide support to the families and colleagues of the fallen officers.
We ask the community keep the families of the fallen officers in their thoughts and prayers, and we express our heartfelt gratitude to all of the first responder agencies who have been working tirelessly to support our city during this difficult time.”
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