A KFD spokesperson said the helicopter is reported to have gone down west of Alcoa Highway, behind 3358 Lakeview Drive in Knoxville.

Author: WBIR Staff

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — One person was killed and three others were rescued after a helicopter crashed into the Tennessee River on Monday near downtown Knoxville.

According to initial reports from the FAA, four people were aboard the helicopter when it went down around 7:40 p.m. 

Three people who were able to escape the helicopter were picked up by a pontoon boat, according to Knoxville Fire Dept. Captain DJ Corcoran. None of them were taken to the hospital.

Sonar equipment was utilized to find the body of the fourth person was recovered around 9:45 p.m.

The names of those on board the helicopter have not been released.

The location of the crash is west of Alcoa Highway, behind 3358 Lakeview Drive in Knoxville, about four miles west of the Downtown Island Airport in Knoxville.

Authorities were not sure if the aircraft was taking off or landing, but witnesses said it appeared to be landing when something went wrong.

“The helicopter seemed to hesitate, then it suddenly hit the water, and then the rotor blades exploded,” Robert Crawford said.

The FAA said the helicopter was a Eurocopter EC-130 but did not release the aircraft registration.

Federal investigators from the FAA and NTSB will determine the cause of the crash.

The Knoxville Police Department and Knoxville Rescue Squad assisted in the search.