Two killed when helicopter crashes while working on a prescribed fire in Mississippi

(Last Updated On: May 6, 2015)

(UPDATED at 9:55 a.m. CDT, March 31, 2015)

A helicopter crashed in southern Mississippi on March 30, 2015, killing two people who were working on a prescribed fire. Mario Rossilli, spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service, said one of the deceased worked for the USFS and the other was the pilot of the helicopter under contract with the USFS. The person that was injured was also a USFS employee. Their names have not been released.

This video has a little more information than the one we posted on Monday.

WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi

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Originally published at 9:03 p.m. CDT, March 30, 2015 Two people were killed and one was injured March 30 when a helicopter crashed while working on a prescribed fire on the Desoto National Forest in southern Mississippi. Below is an excerpt from NBC news: 

The helicopter, a Bell 206L-1, went down about 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) near Saucier, about 25 miles northwest of Biloxi, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed. The NTSB said it would lead the investigation. “We do have two confirmed fatalities,” Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan told reporters. The third crew member was airlifted to the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile, he said. The men were contract workers who were monitoring a controlled burn of about 800 acres in De Soto National Forest, authorities said.

  From WLOX:

An eyewitness told WLOX News he saw the chopper working the fire, and could tell something didn’t seem right. “The helicopter was circling around the fire and within the next couple of minutes I saw it. It was landing on purpose, but it sounded like a little maybe in distress. But then shortly there after a rescue came in and was wanting to know how to get back there,” said Earnest Richardson Junior. “You could tell something was wrong at the end of it, but I didn’t know it was that bad. It kinda looked like he was almost landing for a minute. But like I said, I’m not sure because it circled around the fire. I thought maybe he was trying to land.”

Our sincere condolences go out to their families and co-workers.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Kevin.