SEOUL, July 17 -- A South Korean firefighting helicopter crashed in downtown Gwangju, around 330 km south of the capital Seoul, a local broadcaster YTN reported Thursday, with the pilot confirmed dead.
The chopper crashed into the southern city's downtown, where one-room apartments and commercial buildings stand close together. The firefighting authorities received the accident report at about 10:53 a.m. local time.
Until now, the pilot alone has been confirmed dead, with no further casualties reported. The helicopter fell in the lawn right beside the road, and caught fire after the crash. The cause of the crash had yet to be confirmed.
The firefighting helicopter was on its way to supporting search operations for the missing people of the deadly ferry disaster.
The ferry Sewol capsized and sank off the southwestern coast on April 16, leaving more than 300 people, mostly high school students, dead or missing. Eleven people remained unaccounted for.