Helicopter transporting donor heart crashes on helipad at SoCal hospital

California

LOS ANGELES – A pilot suffered minor wounds after a helicopter transporting a donor heart crashed Friday afternoon on the Keck Hospital of USC helipad.

The private ambulance chopper was carrying a donated organ for Keck Hospital of USC when it landed on a helipad on the hospital’s rooftop just after 3 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Emergency personnel were dispatched about 3:20 p.m. to the hospital in the 1500 block of North San Pablo Street, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Aerial video from Sky5 at about 3:30 p.m. showed the helicopter tipped over on its side with some small pools of unknown fluids surrounding the wreckage. Its tail end was hanging over the side of the helipad with the helicopter lying not far from the building’s edge, according to KTLA.

The private air ambulance was stable on its side near the helipad’s edge by 3:40 p.m., with no fire, and it did not appear to have a significant fuel leak, Stewart said.

Two people were either treated at the scene or taken into the hospital, according to Stewart, but their conditions were not immediately known. KTLA reported that three people were on board, and they did not require assistance to get out of the chopper after the crash.

The heart was safely retrieved by firefighters and given to hospital staff. Within two hours of the crash, the organ was being transplanted into the patient for which it was intended, Keck Hospital of USC reported.

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