Helicopter crashes in field outside Merced

A small helicopter crashed in an agricultural field in the 1800 block of Southern Pacific Avenue outside Merced just after 7 p.m Tuesday.

The helicopter’s two occupants survived the crash, according to Deputy Delray Shelton, sheriff’s spokesman.

Both escaped safely and no injuries were reported.

According to Jeremy Rahn, Merced County Fire Department battalion chief, the helicopter seemed to be lost but where the helicopter had departed from and its destination were unknown.

The California Highway Patrol, Merced County sheriff’s deputies and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection personnel were at the scene. Twelve firefighters extinguished a fire sparked by the crash within about half an hour after their arrival, according to Rahn.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. The occupants of the helicopter were talking to FAA representatives Tuesday evening.

More details will be posted as they become available.