Helicopter crashes near Baltimore-Washington Airport

(Reuters) -- A helicopter that was inspecting power lines crashed on rail tracks near Baltimore/Washington International Airport on Saturday, sparking a brush fire and delaying Amtrak train service along a major passenger route, officials said.

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The crash, which injured three on board, resulted in delays to Amtrak service between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., according to the railroad's statements and social media posts.

An Amtrak spokeswoman said that by mid-afternoon all service had resumed between the two cities. Airline operations were not affected, airport spokeswoman Whitney Kidd said.

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The helicopter was flying at low altitude around a power line when it crashed a mile north of the Maryland airport, near Amtrak's BWI Station, the Federal Aviation Administration and Anne Arundel County police said.

The helicopter was destroyed in the crash and the three people hurt were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, said Ariel Jackson, a lieutenant at the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

No one else was hurt, the FAA and police said.

The crew of the helicopter, which was operated by a private contractor, was inspecting transmission lines for Baltimore Gas and Electric, a division of Exelon Company, said BGE spokesman Justin Mulcahy.

The crash, which was reported just before 1 p.m. on the major passenger train corridor linking Washington and other northeastern cities, sparked a fire in the wooded area where the helicopter came down, but firefighters extinguished the blaze, Maryland State Police said in a statement.

Police said the cause of the crash was under investigation by federal transportation authorities.

Lieutenant Ryan Frashure, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police Department, said firefighters were on the scene of the crash, which was reported just before 1 p.m.

Amtrak said on Twitter that it could not estimate the length of any service delays until officials finished an investigation.

The location of the crash was on a major passenger-train corridor linking Washington and other U.S. Northeast cities.

A Maryland State Police representative declined to comment immediately on the crash.