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NTSB and FAA officials are inspecting helicopter wreckage

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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were in Clay County Friday inspecting the wreckage of a helicopter crash and trying to figure out what happened.

AirEvac109 crashed Thursday evening, and inspectors are hoping to find some kind of clue that will tell them what caused the helicopter to crash into a school parking lot.

The first call came in around 11:15 last night. "I think a helicopter crashed at the school you need to get someone here quick!"

AirEvac109 had just dropped off a patient in London and was on approach to its landing facility in Manchester, when something went horribly wrong, sending the Bell Longranger crashing into the parking lot.

All three crew members on board were killed.

Friday afternoon, NTSB and FAA officials got to the scene, began taking pictures and getting eyewitness reports, just trying to get an overall sense of the scene.

Weather reports from London's airport, about 16 miles from the crash site, showed visibility was decent, at about six miles.

There was some mist in the area, but the cloud bases were several thousand feet high which is plenty of room for a helicopter.

WKYT spoke with an NTSB officials who says, "We're going to look at the aircraft as it sits, document any fracture points, burn patterns, things like that."

AirEvac officials say the helicopter was equipped with night vision and a terrain warning system.

On Friday, investigators with the NTSB said they have located three primary piles of wreckage. The main wreckage is in the school's parking lot, the tail of the helicopter was found in the woods behind the school and the main rotorblade was located near a concrete block just a few yards from the parking lot.

Three Kentuckians were killed in the crash-- former Laurel County Chief Deputy Eddy Sizemore, flight paramedic Lee Dobbs of London and flight nurse Jesse Jones of Pineville.

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This is an update to an earlier story. The initial report is below.

The Clay County coroner has confirmed to WKYT that he is on the scene of a helicopter crash near Manchester.

The Clay County sheriff says the helicopter crashed near Paces Creek Elementary School just after 11 p.m. Thursday.

State highway leaders say as part of the investigation into the crash, nearby Highway 421 has been shut down in both directions for the time being.


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