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FAA: Helicopter hit gas pump canopy in Corona airport explosion

A helicopter that burst into flames during a refueling stop in Corona hit the structure above the fuel pumps, a federal official said Monday.

The pilot, whose name was not released, was killed in Sunday's incident at Corona Municipal Airport. The 11 a.m. explosion sent shrapnel flying, penetrating some airport hangars.

Although it was unclear if the pilot was refueling at the time, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said Monday the helicopter's rotor blades hit the structure above the fuel pumps.

"What we know at this point is that the rotor blades struck the canopy above the refueling pumps," he said.

Authorities said they did not believe anyone else was injured. The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA were continuing to investigate.


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-- Wesley Lowery

Photo: An investigator takes photographs of the wreckage of a Robinson R-44 at Corona Municipal Airport. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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