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Recovery efforts begin following fatal Tennessee River helicopter crash

On the scene, crews used a crane barge and boats in the water to recover the wreckage.
Helicopter recovered from Tennessee River
Helicopter recovered from Tennessee River(TWRA)
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 3:03 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 at 5:01 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Wednesday morning, crews began recovering the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed into the Tennessee River Monday night.

On the scene, crews used a crane barge and numerous rescue teams on boats in the water to recover the debris.

DJ Corcoran with the Knoxville Fire Department said the wreckage was nearly 30 feet deep in the river. Rescue teams used sonar and other technology to locate the helicopter due to the murky conditions of the water.

The FAA is investigating the incident. The NTSB will take the lead on the investigation once the helicopter is pulled from the river and placed into a secure area.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NTSB is not sending their go teams on planes. Typically NTSB teams arrive as quickly as possible to the scene of a crash in order to start the investigation. Officials said a preliminary report of the crash should be expected in a couple of weeks. The final report of the crash investigation will not be released for 12 to 24 months, according to NTSB.

The Knoxville Fire Department said the crash occurred around 7:42 p.m. August 3 just behind a home in the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood on Lakeview Drive.

Joe Clayton, the cofounder of Clayton Automobiles and Clayton Homes, died in the crash. His brother Clayton Homes survived the crash along with their grandson, Flynt Griffin and their friend John McBride.

WATCH: Crews are recovering the wreckage of a downed helicopter. Harry Sullivan is live with the latest https://bit.ly/2C4n3a4

Posted by WVLT on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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