Two television crew members were killed in a helicopter crash in a wooded area in New Jersey.

“A pilot and a photographer from our news team were in the helicopter when it went down while returning from an assignment at the Jersey Shore,” CNN affiliate WPVI announced.

“Both crew members were killed,” it added.

“My prayers are with the victims of the @6abc helicopter crash and their families. This is a devastating accident, especially so close to the holidays,” Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) said.

“Condolences to our colleagues at Channel 6 on loss of their Action News team members in helicopter crash in New Jersey last night. Pilot and photojournalist were aboard when Chopper 6 crashed after 8pm in Wharton State Forest while coming back from an assignment near the shore,” FOX 29 News reporter Steve Keeley said.

WPVI reports:

It has been a devastating day for the Action News team after two crew members on board Chopper 6 were killed in a crash on Tuesday night.

A pilot and a photographer were in the helicopter when it went down in Washington Township, New Jersey just after 8 p.m. They were returning from an assignment at the Jersey Shore.

The pilot was 67-year-old Monroe Smith of Glenside, Pa. and the photographer was 45-year-old Christopher Dougherty of Oreland, Pa.

They have a long history with our station and have been working as part of the Action News team for years.

“Our hearts are just broken for these men. They’re broken for their families,” reporter Katherine Scott said during a report on Action News. “We just can’t believe this has happened.”

According to CNN, the cause of the crash remains unclear.

Per CNN:

New Jersey State Park Police received a call about a helicopter that went missing in the area of Wharton State Forest around 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, Chief George Fedorczyk said Wednesday morning.

Shortly after midnight, a state park police officer found the debris field in a remote part of the forest in Washington Township, the chief said.

A representative from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived overnight, Fedorczyk said, and a team from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to arrive Wednesday.

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The NTSB will lead the investigation into the crash, Fedorczyk said.

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