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Helicopter Crashes On New Mexico Hospital Roof; Pilot Hurt

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[April 10, 2014]  By Joseph Kolb

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters)  A medivac helicopter crashed moments after takeoff from the roof of a New Mexico hospital on Wednesday, injuring the pilot, said hospital spokesman Billy Sparks.

The Airbus AS350 B3E had just dropped off a patient at the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital in Albuquerque, said Brad Deutser, a spokesman for operator PHI Air Medical.

It fell onto the rooftop, where it came to rest on its side, Deutser said.

The pilot, whose injuries were not specified, was in a stable condition in hospital, Sparks said. A flight paramedic and nurse who were aboard as passengers were apparently uninjured.

Witnesses told local media the helicopter appeared to be wobbling in the air shortly after takeoff.

The Federal Aviation Administration opened an investigation into the cause of the crash.

(Reporting by Joseph Kolb in Albuquerque, Victoria Cavaliere in New York; writing by Steve Gorman; editing by Lisa Shumaker and John Stonestreet)

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