Photo: Collin Taylor, Courtesy Backwoods
A helicopter crashed Sunday while giving sky tours during the Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain music festival, according to reports.
A spokesperson for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department told reporters that four people were on board, but did not initially comment on their conditions. An updated post later stated that three people died in the crash, and a fourth was injured. The downed helicopter was found through a cell phone ping from a passenger’s 911 call.
Festival staff last month published a blog post with a Tulsa-based helicopter company owner that partners with the event, but it’s uncertain if the helicopter that crashed was part of the same crew.
This year’s lineup included nearly 100 acts on four stages, but was cut short Sunday evening after the helicopter went missing.
“We’re at a standstill for the moment while some rescue efforts are underway,” a festival representative told the crowd in a video posted to Facebook Sunday. “We ask that you get together with your friends now and tell each other how much you love them. If we have the ability, we want to make this a celebration of life and try to continue the show tonight if it’s possible.”
At least two bands, including Zeds Dead and G Jones, canceled their scheduled performances while crews continued to search the area for the helicopter.
backwoods festival- i’m really sorry to say my set has been cancelled due to the tragic helicopter crash. my heart goes out to everyone affected ? love u all + hope to play for you soon
— G JONES (@gjonesbass) June 3, 2019