1 Dead After Crash Site Found on Catalina Island Amid Search for Missing Helicopter

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At least one person has been found dead on Tuesday after a helicopter crashed in a remote area of Catalina Island, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The helicopter took off from the Torrance Municipal Airport and was headed to the Catalina Island Airport, according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

But the helicopter vanished before reaching Avalon. It was reported “overdue” to the Coast Guard’s Los Angeles-Long Beach command center around 9 a.m. Tuesday, the release stated.

The rotorcraft had been missing for about 11 to 16 hours before the debris field was spotted on the northwestern end of the island, in the general area of Two Harbors, just before 10 a.m., authorities said.

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department officials told KTLA the helicopter was last seen near Silver Peak, which is just northwest of Two Harbors.

One person was found dead among the smoldering wreckage, fire department officials. He or she was not immediately identified.

The helicopter was a Robinson R44, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that federal aviation records show Tuesday’s crash was the fourth deadly such incident involving that model this year in the U.S.

Although authorities only believed there was one occupant on the aircraft, search and rescue crews were combing the area for any other possible victims or survivors.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

No additional information was immediately released.

KTLA’s Jennifer Thang and Steve Bien contributed to this story. 

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