At least nine people are feared dead after two US Army Black Hawk helicopters collided during a training exercise in Kentucky: Witness describes hearing a ‘pop’ and ‘thump’
- Andy Beshear, the governor of Kentucky, tweeted in the early hours of Thursday that there was “cruel news from Fort Campbell,” with reports of a helicopter crash.
- Trigg County emergency personnel say two helicopters have crashed, and a U.S. Army soldier on the scene confirmed to local media “several deaths.”
- The 101st Airborne Regiment and 160th Special Operations Air Regiment are based at Fort Campbell, which in July opened a $5 million helicopter training facility.
At least nine people are feared killed in a collision between two US Army Black Hawk helicopters during a routine training exercise in Kentucky.
Andy Beshear, the governor, said there was “tough news out of Fort Campbell.”
Located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border 60 miles northwest of Nashville, the base is home to the 101st Airborne Regiment and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
Two helicopters flew very low, and suddenly – as soon as they passed the house – something exploded, there was a strong explosion. And everything suddenly closed, said a local resident WKDZ Radio.
“So we hopped in the truck and got here, and this is what we found — two helicopters.”
The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.
It is believed that the two helicopters crashed shortly before 10pm on Wednesday. Local media said nine were feared dead
James Hughes, the Trigg County Sheriff, told the radio station he lived a half mile away and heard what he thought was a collision.
Nundis Thurman, a Fort Campbell spokesman, confirmed the crashes occurred just before 10 p.m. Wednesday in Trigg County, near Interstate 68.
The aircraft were two Black Hawk helicopters operated by the 101st Airborne Division.
The crew members were flying the aircraft during a routine training mission when an “accident” occurred.
Local media reported that nine people are feared dead.
A US Army soldier at the scene confirmed WKDZ Radio There were “multiple deaths”.
The station reported that Trigg County Coroner John Mark Vinson was called to the scene.
WKDZ, a local news station, filmed emergency responders putting out a fire
Local news station WKDZ said the photo showed the wreckage of one of the helicopters
A Black Hawk helicopter is seen in action
Officials from Fort Campbell arrived at the scene about an hour after the accident to conduct an investigation into the accident.
Representatives from the US Army’s Safety Investigations Team from the Combat Readiness Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama, are also expected to arrive at Fort Campbell to investigate the incident.
Local residents told WKDZ radio that they had heard helicopters flying over the area the past few evenings.
It was reported that the weather conditions at that time were clear with light and windy.
“The leadership is currently focused on caring for the military and their families,” the base said in a statement.
In July, a $5 million helicopter training facility, unique in the country, opened at the site, featuring a Navy ship’s flight deck used “to facilitate safe and realistic training for aircrews and ground operators before operating in the harsh environment over water,” the Army said.
In February of this year, the UH-60 Alpha Black Hawk helicopter flew for the first time fully unmanned, controlled from Fort Campbell.
The cause of the crash on Wednesday night is still under investigation.
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