3 Die as firefighting helicopters crash into each other in Southern California

The collision and crash occurred as crews were responding to a fire in Riverside County.

South California: Three people were killed on Sunday night after a helicopter used to fight a wildfire in Southern California collided with another one and crashed, according to the New York Times.

According to David Fulcher, the southern region chief of Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting organisation, the three guys who died were inside one of the helicopters. He claimed that the other chopper had safely landed.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said in a statement on Monday that three men who were killed were Josh Bischof, an assistant chief at Cal Fire; Tim Rodriguez, a fire captain at Cal Fire; and Tony Sousa, a contract pilot, The New York Times reported.

MS Education Academy

No other injuries were reported in the incident.
Newsom said that flags at the State Capitol and Capitol Annex Swing Space would be flown at half-staff in honour of the three men.

“On behalf of all Californians, our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with the loved ones, friends and Cal Fire colleagues mourning the loss of Assistant Chief Bischof, Fire Captain Rodriguez and Pilot Sousa,” Newsom said.

“This terrible tragedy is a reminder of the dangers our courageous firefighters face daily while working to keep our communities safe,” he added.

Both helicopters were under an “exclusive agreement” with Cal Fire, Chief Fulcher said.
The collision and crash occurred as crews were responding to a fire in Riverside County, just east of Los Angeles, that started in a building and spread to the surrounding area, Chief Fulcher said, the New York Times reported.

The fire was reported by Cal Fire at about 6 pm (local time) on Sunday. At that time, it had spread to about three acres. Within an hour, the agency said the fire had been contained.

The helicopter crash caused an additional four-acre fire, which was later extinguished, Chief Fulcher said.
He described the crash as a “tragic loss” for the community. “We’ve lost three great individuals,” he said, the New York Times reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board was sending investigators to the crash scene, a spokeswoman for the agency said on Monday.

Back to top button