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One dead, two hurt in North Carolina helicopter crash

The pilot of a Duke Energy helicopter was killed Wednesday when the aircraft went down in a wooded area while surveying power lines, officials said.

Spokesman Jeff Brooks confirmed late Wednesday night that the pilot was killed, but he provided no additional details. Officials said two other people aboard the helicopter were injured.

Rockingham County Emergency Services said in a news release that the helicopter crashed near the Dan River Combined Cycle Station near some homes in the town of Eden. The Federal Aviation Administration said in an email that the Bell 429 helicopter crashed around 1:55 p.m.

A news release from emergency officials said two passengers aboard were able to escape the wreckage, and that Rockingham County EMS made contact with them. One passenger was taken by ambulance to UNC-Rockingham and the second passenger was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Health Care in Winston-Salem. Their conditions were not known late Wednesday night.

The National Transportation Safety board is expected to have an investigator on the scene on Thursday, and an earlier statement from the Charlotte-based utility said it is also was investigating the crash.

The Dan River Combined Cycle Station went online in 2012, according to the utility’s website. The facility provides electricity to as many as 620,000 customers, nearly double the capacity of the steam plant it replaced.

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