• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Nine dead in crash of two US Army helicopters

Two US Army helicopters crashed during a nighttime training mission in Kentucky, killing all nine soldiers on board, a general said Thursday.

The helicopters — variants of the Black Hawk designed for medical evacuation — were taking part in a routine exercise, John Lubas Deputy Commander, 101st Airborne Division, said.

The aircraft were flying in formation with pilots using night vision goggles, and were steered to land in an open field across from a residential area, avoiding deaths or injuries on the ground.

The crash “resulted in the death of all nine service members aboard the aircraft,” all of them members of the 101st Airborne Division, which is based at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Lubas said.

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Five soldiers were on one helicopter and four on another, with the military still working to notify all the families of those killed.

With an investigative team heading to Fort Campbell from the base where US Army Aviation is headquartered in Alabama, it was still unknown whether the two helicopters collided.

“We have a safety team coming… from Fort Rucker, Alabama who specialize in aircraft safety and specifically these investigations,” Lubas said.

Andy Beshear, Kentucky Governor mourned the lost soldiers and praised those who responded to the crash.

“Freedom relies on those who are willing to serve, some of which pay the ultimate price,” the governor told the news conference.