helicopter crash near miami leaves 1 dead woman rescued from canal

A man has died after the helicopter he and a woman were riding in crashed in a canal near Miami, police said.

The two were pulled from the wreckage Wednesday afternoon following several 911 calls, WSVN-TV reported.

“According to investigators, the witnesses were stating they saw what appeared to be a helicopter that was spinning and falling,” Miami-Dade Police Department Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told the media outlet.

“It was flying very low. That’s how initially I realized something was happening,” local resident Vivian Alvarez said.

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Witnesses told investigators the helicopter was flying low before it crashed. (WSVN)

The helicopter, a Hughes 369 aircraft, was carrying two people from Fort Myers when it crashed into a canal about three miles west of Miami Executive Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Aerial footage from the scene showed Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units at the waterway where the helicopter was completely underwater. Divers went into the water following an aerial search.

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Helicopter in canal

Divers got into the water to rescue a woman from the crashed helicopter near Miami, Dec. 27, 2023. (WSVN)

Police said the woman emerged moments later, and told first responders there was still a male in the helicopter.

Divers located and pulled the man out before he was taken to a medical center. 

“Unfortunately, the male succumbed to his injuries. The female is expected to survive,” Zabaleta said.

Canal helicopter crash near Miami

Miami-Dade police, fire crews at the scene of a helicopter crash where one man died. The injured woman is expected to survive. (WSVN)

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Officials did not identify the victims or say how they knew each other. The NTSB will identify the pilot of the aircraft.

The federal aviation agency said it was opening an investigation and the Miami-Dade Police Department Homicide bureau is conducting a probe into the death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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