Two firefighters and pilot killed in mid-air crash while fighting fire in California

Two firefighters and one pilot died following the mid-air collision

Three people have been killed after two firefighting helicopters crashed mid-air in southern California on Sunday.

One of the helicopters landed safely, but the second helicopter crashed, killing the two firefighters and pilot onboard.

The two helicopters had been fighting a blaze in Cabazon, a community 90 miles east of Los Angeles, when they collided mid-air.

The helicopters were amongst six aircraft that responded to a structure fire which spread to nearby vegetation, CNN reports.

The crash caused an additional four-acre fire, which was later extinguished.

'We have lost three great individuals,' Cal Fire Southern Region Chief David Fulcher said

On Monday, Cal Fire Southern Region Chief David Fulcher confirmed that one Cal Fire Division chief, one Cal Fire captain and one contract client pilot died in the crash.

“Although this was a tragic event, we are also thankful today that it wasn’t worse,” Fulcher said.

“The individuals in the first helicopter were able to able to land safely without incident and no one else was hurt.”

The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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