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Helicopter crashes just off shore near Apollo Beach

9:12 PM, Nov 30, 2012   |    comments
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APOLLO BEACH, Fla. -- A helicopter went down in the water near Apollo Beach Friday afternoon.

Tampa Fire Rescue previously said there was one person dead, but have issued a correction saying that at this point, there are no confirmed deaths.

Reports indicate that at about 3 p.m., a helicopter went down in a body of water about 300 yards from the shore, between the mainland and Beer Can Island.

The Federal Aviation Administration tells 10 News the aircraft is a Robinson R22 helicopter.

A witness tells 10 News he saw the helicopter's main two-bladed rotor literally spin off of the aircraft, at which point it immediately plummeted straight down into the water below.

It's not known at this time what caused the crash.

Detective Larry McKinnon with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says one person is believed to have been in the helicopter when it crashed.  McKinnon adds they are currently treating it as a search and rescue operation.

911 reportedly received two calls: one person reported hearing an explosion and another person saw the chopper go down.

At least 15 Tampa Fire units, along with additional Hillsborough Fire Rescue units, are responding to the scene.

10 News will continue with updates on this developing story.


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