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Florida sheriff's helicopter falls into apartment building, killing 2, injuring 4

Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Two people, including a flight paramedic, were killed and four others injured Monday when an emergency response helicopter lost control and crashed into an apartment building in Pompano Beach, Fla.

One person who was on the ground, as well as Capt. Terryson Jackson of the Broward County Sheriff's Department, were killed in the crash, Sheriff Gregory Tony told reporters.

The accident happened shortly before 9 a.m. EDT when a sheriff's department Airbus fire and rescue helicopter went down just south of the Pompano Beach Airpark, home of the Goodyear Blimp.

The two surviving members of the helicopter crew, as well as two civilians on the ground, were transported to North Broward Medical Center, a sheriff's department official said.

The rescue chopper was answering an emergency call from North Lauderdale when it developed "mechanical issues" and crashed, according to preliminary assessments.

Video shot by an area resident and broadcast by WPLG-TV showed smoke emanating from the aircraft in the seconds before it crashed to the ground.

Jackson, 49, was an experienced and valued member of sheriff's department, Tony said.

"Terryson was a rock star," he said. "He was one of the best of us, one of the brightest. There's over 6,000 people in this agency and I'm not going to meet every one of them, but that man I knew very well.

"The type of effort and commitment he had for this community ... impeccable."

The sheriff said the two injured crew members were able to crawl out of the helicopter's wreckage and did not appear to suffer life-threatening injuries.

Resident Jared Liverpool shared video of the two surviving crew members emerging from the crash and onto a roof with WFOR-TV.

"Surprisingly, the two men in their uniforms didn't look like they had any injuries on them at all," he told the station. "One of them said that their ribs were broken probably, but they seemed fine. They struggled a bit climbing up the roof but they got down, a police officer was asking them if they were okay, if they needed any help."