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Mike Longaecker, Forum News Service, Published June 19 2013

Helicopter crashes into garage in suburban St. Paul

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. - Federal aviation investigators were called this morning to the scene of a helicopter crash in this St. Paul suburb.

A low-flying helicopter believed to be operated by the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, was seen struggling to remain aloft, a witness said, before crashing into a garage in the St. Paul suburb.

“It just dropped,” said Tambra Thomas, who had heard the helicopter from her bedroom in a nearby residence, before jumping up to see its sharp descent.

Maplewood police Lt. Kerry Crotty did not say whether the pilot of the helicopter survived the crash, which occurred at 8:13 a.m. She confirmed that a medical examiner was called to the scene.

Damage from the impact was limited to the garage, she said.

Crotty said Federal Aviation Administration investigators were en route to the crash site. She said it wasn’t immediately clear whether the helicopter was spraying for mosquitoes, though Metropolitan Mosquito Control District officials and vehicles were at the scene of the crash.

“Luckily it was just a garage,” Crotty said of the crash site. “It could have definitely been worse.”