Sacramento, CA — Federal safety officials are blaming mechanical failure for the crash of a Sacramento County Sheriff´s Department helicopter.
Two deputies died in the accident and one remains hospitalize with critical injuries.
National Transportation Safety Board officials say a preliminary investigation found the helicopter engine´s internal turbine blades disintegrated in flight.
The helicopter, a Eurocopter E-C 120 went down Wednesday night on a hillside near Lake Natoma.
The sheriff´s department owns two other Eurocopter E-C 120 helicopters. Department officials say they would be grounding the aircraft indefinitely.