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(CNN) -- At least seven people died and three were critically injured Sunday when two medical helicopters collided in midair near a hospital in Flagstaff, Arizona, authorities said.

At least one person killed in the crash was a patient, according to FAA communications manager Ian Gregor.

The patient and two others were aboard a Bell 407 helicopter operated by Air Methods Corp., an air medical service provider, Gregor said. No further information about the other victims was immediately available.

The skies in Flagstaff were clear Sunday afternoon, CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis said.

The helicopters crashed around 3:45 p.m. in a wooded area near a neighborhood, Flagstaff Police Department Sgt. Tom Boughner said.

No one on the ground was injured or killed in the crash, but two rescue workers were injured by an explosion after the crash, Boughner said.

The collision ignited a 10-acre brush fire that was soon contained, according to fire officials.

"As you can imagine, we've got lots of heaps of metal to go through," said Capt. Mark Johnson of the city's fire department. "It's just difficult right now."

Johnson said there is a helicopter landing pad on the roof of the hospital.

FAA inspectors were on their way to the scene. Hospital officials could not provide further information.

Last July, four people died when two news helicopters collided during a car chase near Phoenix.




News from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/29/helico ... index.html
 
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