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2 dead in medical helicopter crash near Phoenix

PHOENIX >> A medical helicopter crashed late Tuesday night in “rugged terrain” east of Phoenix, killing two of the three people aboard, officials said.

A third crew member is safe, the aircraft company said early Wednesday without elaborating.

Air Methods, which owns the company operating the aircraft, said the chopper was carrying a pilot, a paramedic and a nurse. No names were released and the company didn’t further identify the survivor.

Company spokeswoman Christina D. Brodsly said in an email to The Associated Press that no patients were on board.

“Air Methods confirmed that there were two fatal injuries,” the statement said. ” We can also confirm that one crew member is safe.”

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told the Arizona Republic earlier that the chopper went down under unknown circumstances in Pinal County, about 55 miles east of Phoenix. It was headed to the town of Globe, further to the east.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety told the paper that it was first notified of the crash at about 8 p.m.

Officials described the area of the crash as “very rugged terrain.”

Pinal County sheriff’s office said its deputies also responded to the report.

No further details of the crash were immediately available.

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