Nine dead as two US Black Hawk helicopters collide

The army choppers were trying to land in an open field across a residential area when the accident occurred


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Published: Thu 30 Mar 2023, 7:43 PM

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 training mission the night before when the crash occurred, Brigadier General John Lubas told a news conference.

It "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, he said.

Five soldiers were on one helicopter and four on another, Lubas said, noting that the military is still working to notify all the families of those killed.

The helicopters --which were flying in formation with the pilots using night vision goggles - were able to land in an open field across from a residential area, avoiding deaths or injuries on the ground, he said.

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.

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

"We are blessed to live in the freest country in the history of planet Earth. But we must remember that that freedom relies on those who are willing to serve, some of which pay the ultimate price," the governor told the news conference.

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