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Two dead after helicopter crashes in Williamson County

Body of missing student Mollie Tibbetts found, reports say (Photo courtesy: Williamson County Sheriff's Office)

UPDATE: A release from the Jordanian Armed Forces shows one of the victims was a member of their military.

In a release they say their first lieutenant Ahmed Ali Mohammed Khalif al-Khawaldeh was killed in the crash. He was in the U.S. for training. The release from Jordan also states the other victim is an American, but they have not been identified.

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Two people are dead after a helicopter crash Tuesday afternoon in northeast Williamson County.

Sheriff Robert Chody tweeted out reports of the helicopter down just after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

It happened off County Road 346, which is between Granger and Circleville. Emergency crews were having trouble getting to the crash site due to a power line.

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter had departed from Georgetown shortly before 12:15 p.m. on a local flight. According to preliminary reports, it hit a power line and crashed into a field around 12:45 p.m. The helicopter was destroyed by fire.

Residents near the area of the crash said their power went out at around 12:30 p.m.

"I walked out and up there where the crash site is, saw something burning up there, figured it was a plane because we have a lot of air traffic around here," said resident Phillip Wagner.

Helicopter pilot trainer Steve Bush knew the victims but didn't disclose their identities until family is notified. He said the two were "fantastic people, trying to give back to the industry." The area where the crash happened is commonly used for training which includes powerline awareness.

"If you see a powerline out there, but after being out there for an hour two hours whatever it may be, you may lose track of it just for a moment. And that's all it takes. Same thing in your car, you look down for a moment that's when something could happen," said Bush.

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating. Officials with the FAA said determining the cause of the crash will come at the end of the investigation and could take months. Local authorities said they'll release the names of the victims at the right time.


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