Helicopter carrying 6 crashes in Ka‘u lava field

A helicopter crashed in a lava field in Hawaii on Wednesday and all six people on board have been safely evacuated from the site, but two are in serious condition, officials said.

Cyrus Johnasen, a public information officer for Hawaii County, said it was a tour helicopter with a pilot and five passengers. He said the pilot, a man in his 50s, had been trapped but was later extracted and was in serious but stable condition. An 18-year-old woman was reported in serious and worsening condition. Four people were reported as ambulatory. No other information on their identities was immediately released.


The initial report came in about 5 p.m. and said the aircraft had crashed near the southern most tip of the Big Island, Johnasen said. The site was inaccessible by vehicle so the Hawaii Fire Department sent two helicopters to take victims to ambulances waiting at nearby roads.

“It’s a fluid situation,” Mayor Mitch Roth said.

Johnasen said it was unclear if all six had been transported to hospitals or if emergency responders were continuing treatment themselves in the ambulances.

No information was immediately released on what caused the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration did not respond as of press time Wednesday to a request for information by West Hawaii Today.

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