LOGAN, W.Va. — Six people died Wednesday in a helicopter crash in Logan County.
The incident happened in the Kelly Mountain area along state Route 17 before 5 p.m. The tail section of the Vietnam-era Huey helicopter was in the highway while the front section appeared to have crashed through a guardrail and into the hillside.
Sonya Porter, the deputy director of the Logan County Office of Emergency Management, confirmed the deaths to MetroNews. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration previously reported six people were aboard the Bell UH-1B helicopter when it crashed.
“Everybody’s saddened that this has occurred in our county, and they’re distraught over the incident,” Porter said.
The aircraft was part of this week’s Huey Reunion happening at the Logan Airport sponsored by Marpat Aviation. The reunion offers tourist rides.
According to the Federation Aviation Administration the tail number on the helicopter that crashed is registered to Gordon Prescott of Princeton. The helicopter was built in 1962.
The National Transportation Safety Board will lead an investigation into the crash. The NTSB tweeted Wednesday evening it is sending a team of investigators and a family assistance specialist to the crash site.
The NTSB confirmed with MetroNews Thursday morning that its team is scheduled to arrive at the crash site at about 3 p.m. Thursday.
According to the Logan County Office of Emergency Management, state Route 17 near Kelly Hollow remains closed because of the helicopter crash.
The names of those involved have not been released.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin issued a statement Thursday morning:
“Gayle and I are devastated to hear of the deaths of six people killed in a horrific helicopter crash in Logan County. This is a heartbreaking time for the families, friends and loved ones of those in the crash, and I know our entire state feels this loss. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and my staff and I stand prepared to support the Logan County authorities, first responders and entire community during this time of need.”
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito responded on social media.
“Devastating news out of Logan County last night. Praying for the family members of those involved and our first responders on the scene.”
Gov. Jim Justice was the first to respond Wednesday night.
“Cathy and I are praying for the families of those killed in this tragic helicopter crash.”