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3 Dead After Helicopter Hired By PG&E Strikes High-Voltage Line And Crashes Near Fairfield

FAIRFIELD (CBS SF) -- Authorities are investigating the fatal Tuesday afternoon crash of a helicopter contracted by PG&E near Fairfield after the chopper struck a high-voltage line, killing all three passengers.

Solano County sheriff's officials confirmed Tuesday night that the three people who were passengers in the helicopter doing contract work for PG&E died.

KPIX 5 has learned that the helicopter was contracted by PG&E  to do work for the utility. The three people on board were working on high-voltage lines in the area of the crash.

PG&E confirmed that at around 1 p,m, the helicopter struck 115,000-volt power line near Fairfield and crashed. The crash started fire in area.

FAA Pacific Division Communications Manager Ian Gregor confirmed that a Bell 206 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances near the intersection of Lyon Road and Soda Springs Road.

The helicopter caught fire after crashing, Gregor said. The FAA said they believe there were three people on board the helicopter.

A plume of smoke was visible rising from the crash area for several hours. Cal Fire said a fire caused by the crash spread to about five acres and has since been put out.

At around 3 p.m., a power-line serving 38,000 customers was de-energized at request of Cal Fire. According to the Solano County Sheriff's Office, the outage was ongoing.

Cal Fire said a water tanker truck responding to the area to help battle the fire rolled, causing minor injuries to the fire personnel on the vehicle.

PG&E is working to restore power to customers, but heat in the area is causing delays. A spokesperson for the utility said power was restored to all customers impacted by 8:21 p.m.

The FAA and NTSB will investigate the incident.

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