Helicopter Delivering Donated Heart Crashes on Hospital Roof

(Hamodia/AP) -
helicopter heart crash

A helicopter delivering a donated human heart to a hospital in East Los Angeles crashed on the roof Friday, but the three people aboard escaped without serious injuries and the heart was undamaged, according to reports by Fox 5 San Diego and the Los Angeles Fire Department Twitter.

The private air ambulance had taken off from Gillespie Field in El Cajon in San Diego County, with a heart from Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, to be implanted in a patient at Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California in Boyle Heights.

But shortly after 3 p.m., while landing on the rooftop helipad at Keck, the helicopter crashed and flipped on its side. The cause of the crash was unknown. Video aired by Fox 5 San Diego shows the helicopter on its side on the rooftop pad, with its rotor blades gone.

There was no fire and no significant fuel leak; the pilot suffered minor injuries, while the other two people aboard were not injured at all.

Crews retrieved the container containing the organ from the crashed helicopter, and handed it to a member of the hospital staff. The drama was heightened further when the person tripped on a metal plate and was sent sprawling, the container with the heart flying out of his hand. But the container was picked up by other members of the hospital staff, and brought inside. The hospital later said the heart was being transplanted.