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Five people, including child, killed in Pa. helicopter crash

Five people, including a child, were killed when a helicopter crashed into a heavily wooded area of northeastern Pennsylvania, officials said.

The crash occurred late Saturday in a rugged area in Noxen, Wyoming County, Pa., the Federal Aviation Administration said. The aircraft was discovered Sunday afternoon.

The helicopter was traveling from the Greater Binghamton, N.Y., airport to the Jake Arner Memorial Airport in Lehighton, Pa., Saturday night when an alert was issued after the aircraft lost radar and communication contact, the FAA said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating.

Wyoming County coroner Thomas Kukuchka told The Associated Press that the pilot contacted a nearby tower around 10:30 p.m. Saturday saying he would attempt to return to another airfield nearby.

"That's when he went off radar," Kukuchka said.

Although the names of those on board have not been released, Kukuchka said three men, a woman and a child were on board.

"It appears to be a father and son, a father and daughter and the pilot," he said. 

Kukuchka did not release the ages of the victims. He said his office was trying to reach family members of the deceased in Leesburg, Va., Ellicot City, Md. and Kintnersville, Pa. 

It was not clear if weather played a role in the crash, Kukuchka said there were severe thunderstorms in the area Saturday night. The coroner and police said rough weather contributed to the difficulty of the search; the wreckage was located shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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