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Two dead in helicopter crash in Alabama

(Reuters) - Two people died when a helicopter crashed on Tuesday during a flight to inspect power lines in rural western Alabama, authorities said.

The helicopter was being used to monitor high-voltage power lines in a remote area about 30 miles west of Birmingham when it crashed, killing both the pilot and a worker for Alabama Power Co , authorities said.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the scene on Wednesday to conduct an investigation into the cause of the incident, said Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lieutenant Andy Norris.

The helicopter, a McDonnell Douglas 369E, was owned by RotorWorks, a Georgia-based contracting firm that also employed the pilot, he said.

Authorities were not yet releasing the names of the victims, Norris said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Eric Walsh)