The Latest: Search underway for missing Louisiana helicopter


LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — The Latest on helicopter crash in Louisiana (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

The search continues by air and water for a missing helicopter in south Louisiana.

Iberia Parish Chief Criminal Deputy Richard Hazelwood says the helicopter disappeared Wednesday afternoon in the Atchafalaya Basin, south of Baton Rouge, after leaving Gonzales, Louisiana, to do a pipeline survey.

Hazelwood says the aircraft was scheduled to refuel in Patterson, Louisiana, about 12:30 p.m., but never arrived. He says the civil air patrol began a search for the overdue helicopter about 2 p.m. and his office was notified about the missing aircraft about 7 p.m.

Hazelwood says a state police helicopter is flying over the search area Thursday morning, but “there’s a lot of trees and water.”

He said deputies from Iberia and St. Mary Parish sheriff’s offices are involved in the search, along with state wildlife personnel and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Hazelwood said the pilot and possibly a second person may have been on board the aircraft.

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6:15 a.m.

The search continues for a civilian helicopter missing in a swampy area of south Louisiana.

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal tells local news outlets the helicopter is believed to have crash Wednesday evening in the Atchafalaya Basin, south of Baton Rouge. Ackal says deputies, state Wildlife and Fisheries agents, and Coast Guard officials are working to find the missing aircraft. He says at least one person was onboard.

The FAA told KATC TV that the helicopter was heading to Patterson, Louisiana, from Gonzales, Louisiana, which is the last known position of the aircraft.

Coast Guard spokesman Charles Froberg said several Coast Guard boats have been dispatched to the area.

U.S. Air Force public affairs specialist Mary McHale tells The Advocate the helicopter was doing a pipeline survey when it went missing.

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4:30 a.m.

A sheriff says a civilian helicopter has crashed in southern Louisiana and authorities are searching for at least one person in the water.

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal tells TV station KATC the crash happened Wednesday in the Atchafalaya Basin, a swampy area south of Baton Rouge. He says deputies, state Wildlife and Fisheries agents, and Coast Guard officials are working on a recovery.

U.S. Air Force public affairs specialist Mary McHale tells The Advocate a commercial helicopter doing a pipeline survey was reported missing late Wednesday afternoon. The FAA also says a helicopter that departed from Gonzales, Louisiana, was reported missing.

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