Two people were killed after a helicopter crashed about two miles east of Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport on Wednesday, authorities said.
The address of the crash was SW 124th Avenue and SW 130th Street. Footage showed that the helicopter crashed into a parking lot near warehouses. No one on the ground was injured.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a Robinson R44 helicopter crashed at about 4 p.m. It had just departed from the airport.
Marc Henderson, spokesman for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, confirmed the fatalities. The chopper had two male occupants, according to Miami-Dade Police.
Police said they would release the identities of the deceased after they are properly identified by the medical examiner's office and after next of kin notifications are made.
The FAA, Miami-Dade Police's Homicide Bureau and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
Julia Senior said she was only a short distance from the helicopter when it came down.
“Because of the noise, I felt this helicopter was falling apart, and it was just crashing," she said. "It just came straight against the palm tree.”
Aerial footage showed that the registered owner of the helicopter is Bravo Helicopters LLC in Miami. A telephone message left at the company seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.
The company's owner, Mark Palmieri, was involved in a helicopter crash in the Everglades just over two years ago. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition after a Robinson R44 he was flying crashed on March 5, 2011.
The likely purpose of Wednesday's flight was to perform a maintenance test, said Patrick Murray of the NTSB.
The investigation is in its early stages, but initial witness accounts indicate that the tail rotor may have fallen off before the helicopter crashed. The tail rotor landed 150 yards away from the body of the helicopter.
The NTSB said it is also exploring the possibility that a bird strike may have interfered with the flight. The investigation could take months to complete.
This is a photo of the helicopter that crashed.
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