Official: 3 dead in helicopter crash in Honolulu suburb
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - Three people died Monday when a helicopter crashed on a street in suburban Honolulu, officials said.
A resident said he heard the morning crash then saw a ball of fire in a road when he ran from his house.
Leleo Knappenberger told Hawaii News Now that his mother heard the helicopter flying over the house, making a strange noise.
He said he later saw what appeared to be the tail end of the helicopter.
"It's all smashed to pieces," he said.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency believes three people were on board the four-seat, Robinson R44 aircraft.
He said the circumstances of the crash were unknown.
No further details were available on those killed.
The crash occurred in Kailua, a town of 50,000 people about a 30-minute drive from downtown Honolulu.
Former President Barack Obama stayed at a rented beachfront vacation home in the town during the winter holidays when he was president.
The crash site was on a two-lane road amid one and two-story homes. The road connects the commercial center of town with residential areas.
Kailua is home to a Marine Corps base. In recent years it's become a popular destination for tourists to go to the beach, hike and shop.
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