Four people, including an infant patient, avoided life-threatening injuries when a medical helicopter crashed in a residential neighborhood near Philadelphia on Tuesday, according to the authorities, who called the outcome a “miracle.”
The helicopter was carrying the pediatric patient to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia around 1 p.m. when emergency responders said they received reports that the aircraft was in distress.
The helicopter crashed next to a church in the residential neighborhood of Drexel Hill in Upper Darby Township, Pa., which is west of Philadelphia.
The aircraft came to rest on its side, avoiding power lines and any structural damage to the building, Drexel Hill United Methodist Church.
The authorities said that all four people aboard, including the pilot, co-pilot and a nurse, were able to get out of the wreckage of the helicopter. No one on the ground was hurt, they said.
“It’s an absolute miracle,” Timothy M. Bernhardt, the superintendent of the Upper Darby Township Police Department, said at a news conference at the scene of the crash.
It was not immediately clear who had been operating the helicopter.
A spokeswoman for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said the hospital did not have an immediate comment on the crash.
Emergency responders did not immediately say what caused the crash, which they noted would prompt an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
The F.A.A. did not immediately respond. A spokeswoman for the N.T.S.B. said the agency was investigating but did not comment further.
Officials at the scene said that the flight had originated from out of state, but they did not say where.