Tennessee Helicopter Crash Victims

Five people died Monday in the crash of a sightseeing helicopter on a wooded ridge near the tourist town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash of a Bell 206 tourist helicopter that was reported around 3:30 p.m. Monday behind an outlet mall in the eastern part of Tennessee, in Sevier County.

"There's a little bit of the tail fin of the helicopter and that's about all that's left," Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin told local newspaper and television news outlets. "That and the console."

There was no word on the identities of the victims or the company that operated the helicopter. Several sightseeing helicopter companies operate in the area of the crash, which is near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Many people shared their condolences on social media. A number said the accident resonated with them because they had visited the Pigeon Forge area, which is home to the Dollywood Theme Park that is co-owned by the singer and entertainer Dolly Parton, and had considered taking a similar helicopter tour flight.

"That easily could have been me last week," wrote one recent visitor to the area in a post on Facebook.

"Please pray for all the people involved," wrote another Facebook user.

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