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California helicopter crash in Calabasas sparks brush fire, ‘multiple’ fatalities reported

A helicopter crashed and burst into flames early Sunday in Southern California as “multiple” fatalities were reported.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tweeted there were reports of a downed aircraft around 10 a.m. in Calabasas, a city of 23,000 people located about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The sheriff’s office said flames were extinguished about 20 minutes after the initial reports of the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration told Fox News the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under “unknown circumstances.” The FAA said it was informed by local authorities that were were five people on board at the time.

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Images from the scene showed smoke rising from a hillside amid foggy conditions.

A helicopter crashed and sparked a small brush fire Sunday in Southern California, officials said.
(Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

The sheriff’s office said that deputies were at the crash site looking for survivors.

Firefighters worked to douse flames that spread through about an acre of dry brush, according to officials.

Firefighters worked to douse flames that spread through about an acre of dry brush, according to officials.
(Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

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While it was not yet known how many people were on the helicopter, officials told the Los Angeles Times that there were “multiple fatalities.”

The incident happened in the mountains above Calabasas, a city located 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

The incident happened in the mountains above Calabasas, a city located 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

Art Marrujo, a dispatch supervisor with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, told the Associated Press that firefighters worked to douse flames that spread through about an acre of dry brush.

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Around the time of the crash, L.A. Times reporter Richard Winton reported that the mountains were “fogged in.”

“I heard the plane splutter and then a boom,” he tweeted.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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