Florida Keys Ambulance Helicopter Catches Fire While Landing

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An ambulance helicopter caught fire while landing in the Florida Keys Friday morning, officials said.

The Trauma Star chopper was en route to Coral Shores High School for a trauma transport when it caught fire around 7 a.m., Monroe County officials said.

No one was injured and the patient on board was taken by ground to nearby Mariners Hospital and later airlifted by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to another hospital.

The fire caused substantial damage to the 35-year-old aircraft, which had just undergone its complete annual maintenance as required by FAA, officials said. The chopper is the county’s oldest and is one of three in the helicopter ambulance fleet.

Win McNamee/Getty

The helicopter is used as a backup and was being used Friday because the second one is undergoing routine maintenance, officials said.

Officials said the incident will be investigated by the FAA and Monroe County’s Trauma Star aviation division.

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