Two fatalities were reported after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed onto an Alabama highway Wednesday afternoon, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.
The crash occurred on Highway 53 near the intersection of Burrell Road in Madison County, near the Alabama-Tennessee border, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
The helicopter belonged to the Tennessee National Guard, according to a U.S. official.
The Madison County Sheriff’s office received a distress call on its 911 system around 3 p.m., spokesperson Brent Patterson told ABC News.
First responders who arrived first at the scene found the helicopter “engulfed in flames,” Patterson said. The aircraft was a “total loss,” and given the extent of visible damage, they determined there were no survivors, he said.
Troopers with the agency and deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office were securing the scene.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office advised of road closures in the area following the crash.
“We anticipate evening traffic to experience heavy delays in this area throughout the evening,” the sheriff’s office said.
Tammy Adams told Huntsville, Alabama, ABC affiliate WAAY that she heard what sounded like a car without a muffler before seeing the helicopter fly overhead.
“Then bam, we heard a hit,” she told the station. “We saw it hit the ground and it exploded.”
She said she said a prayer for those onboard.
“We knew there could not be anybody surviving that,” she told WAAY.
Chermonica Johnson also told WAAY she said a prayer after witnessing the devastating crash.
“There’s nothing there, at all,” she told the station. “You can’t even tell it was an aircraft.”