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Five killed in tourist helicopter crash in Tennessee

Published 05/04/2016

Five people were killed in the accident, officials said
Five people were killed in the accident, officials said

Five people have been killed after a tourist helicopter crashed in the Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee.

The Bell 206 sightseeing helicopter crash was reported near Sevierville, officials said.

US federal aviation authority Spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the helicopter was destroyed by fire.

Pigeon Forge Fire Department said units are at the scene.

Tennessee Emergency Management Association spokesman Dean Flener confirmed later that five people had died.

About four hours after the crash, more than a dozen emergency vehicles were at the site, which is less than a mile from a large outlet mall in Sevierville and adjacent to a neighbourhood off the main tourist drag.

The site is about three miles from Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park.

"There's not much left of the helicopter," Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin said. "It's pretty much gone from the fire."

He said the helicopter appeared to have come down the side of a mountain and crashed at the foot of it.

"There's a little bit of the tail fin of the helicopter, and that's about all that's left, that and the console, that's about it."

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