UPPER DARBY, Pa. (AP/WNCN) — A medical helicopter crashed Tuesday in a residential area of suburban Philadelphia, with four people on board including an infant all expected to survive, authorities said.
Rescue crews rushed to the crash near a church at an intersection in Upper Darby’s Drexel Hill neighborhood at about 1 p.m. and helped pull the pilot, two crew members and infant patient from the aircraft, Upper Darby police Superintendent Timothy M. Bernhardt said at a press conference.
None of them sustained life-threatening injuries, Bernhardt said, adding he can’t wait to shake the pilot’s hand for getting the helicopter down the way they did.
The medical chopper was heading to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from Maryland when it crashed.
The infant patient has been taken to a hospital, but family members haven’t been notified yet, Bernhardt said. The flight originated out of state.
Photos and video from the scene show the helicopter damaged and on its side, just outside the church and underneath powerlines. Insignia on the side of the aircraft indicated it was a medical helicopter.
“It’s a miracle, it’s an absolute miracle, here what you see behind me,” Bernhardt said.
Approximately 30 firefighters and seven medic units were on the scene.
Jarrell Saunders, 28, works at an apartment building nearby doing maintenance. He said he saw the helicopter “just floating, like real low, like extremely low, like it could land on the building that I work at.”
He got in his car to go to the hardware store and the helicopter was going in the same direction. He said he saw it hit the ground in the middle of the road and slide across the ground until it crashed into the church.
It turned on its side and as smoke was coming out, he saw people jumping out of the helicopter.
“I’m telling my grandkids about this one,” he said.