US Army helicopters crash in Alaska, killing 3 soldiers

The cause of the deadly crash is under investigation, the US military says.

Apache helicopter
An AH-64 Apache multirole combat helicopter [Focke Strangmann/EPA-EFE]

Two US Army helicopters collided and crashed in Alaska while returning from a training flight, killing three soldiers and injuring a fourth.

Two of the soldiers died at the scene of the crash near Healy, Alaska, and a third died on the way to a hospital in Fairbanks, the army said in a statement on Thursday. The injured soldier was being treated at a hospital.

Each AH-64 Apache helicopter was carrying two people at the time of the crash, said John Pennell, a spokesperson for the US Army Alaska.

The helicopters were from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Fort Wainwright, based near Fairbanks.

“This is an incredible loss for these soldiers’ families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division,” Major-General Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, said in a statement.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to their families, friends and loved ones, and we are making the full resources of the Army available to support them.”

The army said the cause of the crash was under investigation and more details would be released when they become available.

This is the second accident involving military helicopters in Alaska this year. In February, two soldiers were injured when an Apache helicopter rolled after taking off from Talkeetna.

In March, nine soldiers were killed when two US Army Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters crashed during a routine night-time training exercise, 48km (30 miles) northeast of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Source: The Associated Press