Four people were killed after a private helicopter crashed Monday afternoon near Botany Bay on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to local authorities.
“There was only 4 passengers on board from our information,” Daryl George, Director of the Virgin Islands Fire Services, wrote in an email to NBC News on Tuesday afternoon, saying that the identities had not yet been released pending notification of next-of-kin.
Richard Motta, communications director for the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, said Tuesday morning that a fifth person was listed on the flight manifest and was feared missing, but George confirmed later that the person was not on the flight.
A swimmer told the Virgin Islands Daily News that they saw plumes of black smoke and smelled a chemical odor coming from the hill where the chopper crashed Monday afternoon.
The paper reported that a local private school canceled classes based on a report that a student and their family were aboard.
A spokesperson for the Antilles School declined to comment.
Motta did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for additional comment.
4 dead after Virgin Islands helicopter crash – NBC News