One person is dead and the pilot of a helicopter is missing after a helicopter crashed into a condo complex in the popular destination town of Williamsburg, Virginia, on Sunday.
Virginia State Police said they responded to the crash in the Bristol Commons condominium complex just before 5 p.m. The crash caused the condo building to catch on fire, authorities said. Eyewitness video showed flames and thick smoke engulfing the entire two-story building.
State police confirmed one person in the condo building was killed in the accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Twitter late Sunday that the accident involved an R44 helicopter and only the pilot was on board. State police had said earlier in the evening they were still searching for the pilot. However, the FAA later said there were multiple victims.
According to the FAA, “Local authorities will release information about the victims.”
A R44 helicopter with only the pilot on board crashed into a townhouse complex in Williamsburg, VA at about 5 pm ET on July 8. Local authorities will release information about the victims. The FAA is investigating and the @NTSB will determine the probable cause of the accident.
— The FAA (@FAANews) July 9, 2018
R44 models are common, four-seat helicopters produced by the Robinson Helicopter Company.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are still investigating the cause of the accident.
Cmdr. Dave Hecht, spokesperson for Norfolk Naval Air Force Atlantic, told Hampton, Virginia, ABC affiliate WVEC that all of its helicopters were accounted for, but couldn’t say whether the helicopter may have belonged to another branch of the military.
The accident took place in a residential area near the campus of William and Mary, which warned people to stay away from the area.
TribeAlert: There has been an aviation incident in the residential area near Dillard Complex. Avoid the area. WMPD will follow up if campus impacts are eminent.
— William & Mary News (@WMNews) July 8, 2018
Williamsburg is a popular tourist location with Colonial Williamsburg, an historical recreation of the 18th century town, and the amusement park Busch Gardens. The city includes many condominium timeshares.