Home Politics 6 Killed in Helicopter Crash in California, Officials Say

6 Killed in Helicopter Crash in California, Officials Say

6 Killed in Helicopter Crash in California, Officials Say


A helicopter carrying six people crashed and caught on fire on Friday night near the California-Nevada border, killing all of those aboard, the authorities said. The victims included Herbert Wigwe, a prominent Nigerian banker, his bank said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that the Eurocopter EC130 helicopter crashed around 10 p.m. local time near Nipton, Calif., an unincorporated community about 60 miles south of Las Vegas in eastern San Bernardino County.

The helicopter departed from Palm Springs, Calif., at 8:45 p.m., and it was headed toward Boulder City, Nev., said Michael Graham, a board member with the National Transportation Safety Board, during a news conference on Saturday.

The charter flight crashed near Halloran Springs, Calif., around 10:08 p.m., Mr. Graham said, adding that all of those onboard — two crew members and four passengers — were killed. He said that witnesses reported that the helicopter crashed amid rainy and wintry conditions.

“I’d like to express our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy,” Mr. Graham said. The names of the people who died will be released after they are identified and their family members are notified, officials said.

Access Bank Plc, where Mr. Wigwe was a director, confirmed his death on Sunday morning, describing him in a post on X as a “visionary leader” whose “impact will forever be felt.”

Mr. Wigwe, an alumnus of an executive program at Harvard Business School, was a key driver in the transformation of the bank into becoming one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions.

The flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC, which officials said is based out of Burbank, Calif. The helicopter was last seen near Barstow, Calif., at 9:49 p.m., according to FlightAware, a flight tracking service.

The National Transportation Safety Board and F.A.A. are investigating the crash, officials said.

Emma Bubola contributed reporting. Jack Begg contributed research.


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