Two crew members aboard an Apache helicopter on a routine training mission were killed when the aircraft crashed in Galveston Bay near the Bayport Cruise Terminal in Texas, Texas Army National Guard, officials told CBS News.
Crews responded to multiple reports that an Apache helicopter crashed at El Jardin Beach near the Bayport cruise terminal just before 4 P.M. local time on Wednesday.
The two men killed were confirmed to be pilots based out of the 1-149th Attack Helicopter Battalion at Ellington Field.
The bodies of the men have been located but rescue teams were in the process of recovering them. The victims names are being withheld until military officials have notified their families.
Witnesses at the scene told KHOU that the aircraft broke apart.
“There was one blade completely missing and the other blade was still in tact but with some damage done to it from where it hit the ground,” eyewitness Toby Schwebel said.
“I saw the black military helicopter spiraling down nose first,” John Roland, another witness to the scene, said.
Debris was found at the bay and a piece of the chopper’s blade was found near the crash site.
Divers worked overnight on Wednesday attempting to retrieve the two pilots. The wheels of the helicopter were poking out of the water roughly 25 yards from shore.
Investigators are looking into the incident, including trying to locate the black box in flight recorder, to try to determine what communication the pilot had before the crash.