THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — A pilot and a passenger are presumed dead after a helicopter crashed into a swamp in southern Louisiana on Friday, a local government official said.
The coastal Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call from a witness who saw the plane crash at around 10:15 a.m. in the southern Louisiana wetlands. The wreckage was found in a marshy area around 2:45 p.m., parish president Archie Chaisson told reporters.
“It looks like the plane nosed over and got stuck in the mud, so there are very few planes above the waterline,” Chaisson said. Part of the fuselage was found about 150 yards away, he said.
The bodies had not been found by Friday afternoon, according to the official.
Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were traveling to the area to investigate.
Separately, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement that its New Orleans branch coordinated the dispatch of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, as well as a special shallow-water boat to assist on the website.
The statement said the sheriff’s office was investigating what was believed to be the plane’s debris field, which was first identified by crew dispatched from Air Station New Orleans.
The Coast Guard said a private helicopter operator, Rotocraft Leasing Co., alerted the agency that the plane was overdue with two people on board.
Chaisson said the company should release the names of those on board later.
There was no immediate statement from the leasing company.
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