Eufaula man among dead in helicopter crash

Lafayette, LA. (WSFA) - A Eufaula man is listed among eight victims in a helicopter crash that happened Sunday. A ninth person is listed in critical condition.

The seven passengers and two pilots were aboard a Sikorsky S76 medium transport helicopter operated by PHI, Inc. Oil and Gas.

Thomas E. Ballenger, a native of Eufaula, was listed as the Pilot-in-Command according to PHI Chief Administrative Officer/Director of Human Resources in a press release.

The aircraft went down around 2:10pm Sunday approximately 10 miles south of Morgan City, LA. The helicopter was in route to an offshore drilling platform at the time.

The NTSB is on the scene conducting an investigation. The exact cause of the crash has not yet been identified.

Other victims  onboard the aircraft who died included:  Allen Boudreaux, Andrew Moricio, Ezequiel Cantu, Randy Tarpley, Charles W. Nelson, Jorey A. Rivere and Vyarl W. Martin.