Nine killed in Army Black Hawk helicopter crash in Kentucky
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Nine people were killed in a crash involving two Army Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters conducting a nighttime training exercise in Kentucky, Army officials said Thursday.
Nondice Thurman, a spokesperson for Fort Campbell, said the deaths happened Wednesday night in southwestern Kentucky during a routine training mission.
A statement from Fort Campbell said the two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, part of the 101st Airborne Division, crashed around 10 p.m. Wednesday in Trigg County, Kentucky.
The 101st Airborne confirmed the crash about 30 miles northwest of Fort Campbell.
The crash is under investigation.
The helicopters crashed in a field near a residential area with no injuries on the ground, Brigadier General John Lubas, the 101st Airborne deputy commander, said.
One helicopter had five people aboard and the other had four, Lubas said.
Speaking a news conference Thursday morning, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the state would do everything it can to support the families of those killed.
“We're going to do what we always do. We're going to wrap our arms around these families, and we're going to be there with them, not just for the days, but the weeks and the months and the years to come,” Beshear said.
Lubas said it is unclear what caused the crash. He said a team of investigators from Fort Rucker in Alabama was headed to the crash site.
“This was a training progression, and specifically they were flying a multi-ship formation, two ships, under night vision goggles at night,” Lubas said.
He said officials believe the accident occurred when “they were doing flying, not deliberate medical evacuation drills.”
The helicopters have something similar to the black boxes on passenger planes, which records the performance of aircraft in flight and are used by investigators to analyse crashes.
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