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Helicopter crashes; pilot escapes serious injury

MILWAUKEE -- A construction helicopter carrying air conditioning equipment crashed Tuesday near Lake Michigan, injuring the pilot as the craft landed on its side partially in the water.

The 1964 Sikorsky helicopter owned by Midwest Helicopter Airways Inc. of Hinsdale, Ill., crashed while taking a cooling tower off the 25-story Bay View Terrace Condominiums about 10:24 a.m.

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The only person in the craft, pilot Ben Moore, 43, Elmhurst, Ill., was in satisfactory condition at the Milwaukee County Medical Complex suffering from cuts to his right leg and his nose, hospital spokeswoman Jeanne Arnold said.

A witness, Tracy Eggert, said the helicopter began spinning and the pilot apparently dropped the cooling tower that the helicopter was removing from the building.

'The cable broke and a huge thing came flying down,' Eggert said. As the helicopter hit the ground, the witness said, 'I saw one guy pop out of it. It landed on its right side, half on the ground and half on the water. There was fuel spilling out of it and people running all around.'

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