A tour helicopter crashed in the remote Tennessee woods Monday, killing all five people aboard, authorities told NBC News.
Smoke could be seen rising into the air from the scene near Sevierville in east Tennessee.
Few details were immediately available, but Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin said the helicopter “experienced a severe crash which resulted in a fire.”
“There’s not a lot of the helicopter left,” Baldwin said. “It’s just basically a burnt mess.”
Few details were immediately available, but the Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter was a Bell 206 sightseeing craft. It crashed at 3:30 p.m. ET, the agency said.
FAA investigators were on their way to the scene north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Baldwin said. The state Forestry Division was also sending investigators because the crash started a fire in protected woodland.
“Right now, the fire department are fighting a fire that goes all the way across” a nearby mountain,” Baldwin said. “That wind blowing like this is creating a lot more for the fire to burn.”