At Least One Dead After Helicopter Crashes Into Townhouses, Causing Massive Fire

Bristol Commons Townhomes

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by members of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

Neighbors told local news outlets they saw a small, rickety helicopter crash and heard or felt the impact.

Authorities have yet to locate and identify the pilot of the helicopter.

The FAA says the pilot was the only person onboard the R44 helicopter when it crashed in the 1100 block of Settlement Drive, causing a fire within the condominium.

Around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Virginia State Police reported that search and recovery efforts were ongoing at the scene and that there was one confirmed fatality inside the residential structure.

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Another resident, Brook Sweeney, who has lived in the complex since October, said he was watching TV when he heard a noise that he at first thought was a auto accident.

The crash happened near the College of William and Mary Dillard Complex, prompting an alert from the university.

People who live in the area described hearing a low-flying helicopter before a loud explosion and fire.

"Just want to say thanks to all of the emergency personnel who came out and kept everybody safe and also just praying for those who lost everything in the fire", said Chris Robertson.

Bristol Commons resident Donald Johnson told the newspaper he was only 10 feet away from where the crash occurred. I just walked out and looked and got out, I was afraid it would blow up'.

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