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At least nine people are feared dead after two U.S Army Black Hawk helicopters collided during training exercise in Kentucky: Eyewitness describes hearing ‘pop’ and ‘two booms’
- Andy Beshear, governor of Kentucky, tweeted in the early hours of Thursday that there was ‘tough news out of Fort Campbell’, with reports of a helicopter crash
- Trigg County emergency personnel say two helicopters crashed, and U.S. Army soldier at the scene confirmed to local media ‘multiple deaths’
- The 101st Airborne and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment are based at Fort Campbell, which in July opened a $5m helicopter training facility
At least nine people are feared to have died 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’.
The base, situated on the Kentucky-Tennessee border 60 miles north west of Nashville, is home to the 101st Airborne Regiment and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
‘Two helicopters came over pretty low, and all of a sudden – as soon as they got over the house – something popped, a loud bang. And everything shut down all of a sudden,’ one local man told WKDZ Radio.
‘So we jumped in the truck and got over here, and that’s what we found – two helicopters.’
The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
The two helicopters are believed to have crashed shortly before 10pm on Wednesday. Local media said nine were feared dead
James Hughes, the jailer for Trigg County, told the radio station he lives about a half mile away and heard what he believed to be a collision.
Nondice Thurman, a spokesman for Fort Campbell, confirmed the crashes happened before 10pm on Wednesday in Trigg County, near Highway 68.
The aircraft were two Blackhawk helicopters being operated by the 101st Airborne Division.
Crewmembers were flying the aircraft during a routine training mission when an ‘incident’ occurred.
Local media reported nine people are feared to be dead.
A U.S. Army soldier at the scene confirmed to WKDZ Radio there were ‘multiple deaths’.
The station reported that Trigg County Coroner, John Mark Vinson, had been called to the scene.
WKDZ, a local news station, pictured emergency responders putting out a fire
Local news station WKDZ said that the picture shows wreckage from one of the helicopters
A Black Hawk helicopter is seen in action
Officials from Fort Campbell arrived at the scene around an hour after the crash to carry out their investigation into the incident.
It is also expected that representatives from the U.S. military’s Safety Investigation Team, from the Combat Readiness Centre, in Fort Rucker, Alabama, will arrive at Fort Campbell to investigate the crash.
Locals told WKDZ Radio that they had heard helicopters flying over the area for the past few evenings.
Weather conditions at the time were reported to be clear with light to no wind.
‘The command is currently focused on caring for the service members and their families,’ the base said in a statement.
In July, a $5 million helicopter training facility, unique in the nation, was opened at the site, featuring a sea vessel flight deck used ‘to facilitate safe and realistic training for aircrews and ground operators prior to operating in a harsh over-water environment,’ the Army said.
In February this year, a UH-60 Alpha-model Black Hawk helicopter flew for the first time entirely unmanned, controlled from Fort Campbell.
The cause of Wednesday evening’s crash is currently under investigation.
Developing news story, check back for updates…
Source: DailyMail UK