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North Carolina authorities say two dead after TV news chopper crashes in Charlotte: report

( Fox )

Authorities said two people were killed Tuesday after a local TV news chopper reportedly crashed in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the crash happened just after noon, prompting authorities to shut down lanes on Interstate 77.

No vehicles were involved, police said. 

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Robinson R44 helicopter crashed near the freeway and Nations Ford Road and that two people were on board. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. 

Local station WCNC reported the chopper was a news helicopter belonging to WBTV. 

Fox News has reached out to WBTV as well as Gray Television, which owns WBTV.

CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings called the two deaths a "devastating loss" while praising the pilot, who apparently avoided crashing on the freeway. 

"The pilot is a hero in my eyes," he tweeted. "Witnesses indicated that the pilot made diversionary moves away from the highway to save lives. Because of his heroic acts, there were no further injuries or vehicles on the highway involved in the incident."

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