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Helicopter crashes at St. Louis Downtown Airport; occupants survive

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CAHOKIA, Ill. - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what caused a helicopter to crash Monday morning at the St. Louis Downtown airport. The helicopter landed on its roof before breaking into pieces.

Debris was scattered across the fields near the landing strip, but the two men inside walked out of the wreckage.

Fire officials say the crash happened around 11:14 a.m. at the airfield in Cahokia, Illinois. The cockpit remained intact but toppled on its side. The tail boom is clipped off and the propeller is in pieces.

The two men inside the chopper, believed to be a flying instructor and a student, climbed out on their own. This was a training flight with the Midwest Helicopter Training Academy.

A spokesperson with Jet Aviation at the airport said during training exercises they typically fly lower to the ground which may have lessened the impact in this case.

People working in the air traffic control tower saw the crash and alerted emergency workers.

“They were talking to our air traffic control tower, but they did not contact air traffic control tower as the crash happened. Air traffic control tower activated our alert tones as soon as they saw the crash," said Michael Mavrogeorge, the Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director of St. Louis Downtown Airport.

The men suffered minor cuts, bumps, and bruises. They were taken to Saint Louis University hospital to get checked out.

Fox 2 and KPLR 11 reached out to the Midwest Helicopter Academy for comment but they declined since the crash is under investigation.