MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A helicopter crash in Lino Lakes early Thursday evening led to multiple fatalities, according to the Anoka County Sheriff’s office.

The crash, which was reported just before 5:30 p.m., happened in a field near Main Street and Sunset Avenue.

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Cmdr. Paul Sommer says the scale of the debris field is large, and the total number of fatalities has not been determined.

“We can’t identify much based on what remains in the field,” Sommer said. “It’s basically charred-up debris.”

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Witnesses say it looked like the helicopter’s rotors stopped turning before it fell from the sky.

“I’m watching and I can see something falling to the ground, and I’m thinking, ‘That helicopter dropped something,’ and then when it hit the ground, you know, there was a huge fireball,” witness Eddie Turner said.

Sommer says people in the area who find pieces of debris on their property should not touch it, and should call Lino Lakes Police at 763-427-1212.

The Federal Aviation Administration will assist in the investigation.

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