The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating, after a helicopter crashed near Whitecourt, Alberta Tuesday afternoon.

A TSB senior investigator said that a Bell 206 helicopter, owned by Valhalla Helicopters, had a hard landing just after 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Officials said a crew with the Alberta government’s Sustainable Resource Development department had been doing pine beetle surveys about 45 kilometres west of Whitecourt when it happened.

The helicopter rolled into some trees, the TSB said, and sustained substantial damage.

The province confirmed to CTV News that an SRD crew was on board the helicopter when it happened, the aircraft was under contract with the department.

STARS Air Ambulance was initially called in, but was stood down – officials said a fixed-wing aircraft transported four patients from near the crash scene to the Whitecourt airport.