Medical helicopter crashes near Chicago, Illinois killing four

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A medical helicopter has crashed near Chicago, Illinois killing three crew members and the patient, a thirteen-month-old baby girl. The crew aboard the helicopter included the pilot, a nurse and a paramedic.

The helicopter, operated by Air Angels Inc., was transporting the baby to Children's Memorial Hospital from Valley West Hospital, when it hit a wire connected to a 734-foot (224-meter) radio tower in Aurora and burst into flames around 12:00 a.m. (EDT). The baby was suffering from epileptic seizures.

The cause of the crash is not known, and there were no reported problems with the helicopter before it took off. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is ongoing.

This is the third crash which involved an Air Angels helicopter. In 2003, a pilot was killed when his chopper crashed. An investigation concluded that the cause was pilot error, and bad weather. Another chopper crashed in 2007, but there were no injuries.