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1 killed, 3 wounded in US Army Black Hawk helicopter crash

Black Hawk Helicopter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Whitney)
September 26, 2019

One U.S. Army soldier was killed during a Thursday morning helicopter crash at Fort Polk, Louisiana; three others aboard the helicopter were also injured in the crash.

An investigation is underway into what caused a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to crash, according to a Facebook post by the official Fort Polk account. The four crew members aboard the helicopter were attached to the 1-5 Aviation Battalion.

Emergency services reportedly responded immediately to the crash and, in a statement to Army Times, Fort Polk spokeswoman Kim Reischling said the three wounded Soldiers are in stable condition.

“One of their biggest missions on Fort Polk is to fly medevac and they were on their way to pick up a routine injury out in the training area,” Reischling told Army Times. “There are accidents out there, minor ones, soldiers get overheated, soldiers sprain their hands, stuff like that.”

Reischling did not specify the nature of the injury the helicopter crew was responding to when it crashed.

She told the Army Times that the cause of the accident is still unknown but said personnel from Fort Rucker’s Army Aviation Safety Center in Alabama to conduct the accident investigation at Fort Polk.

Neither the name of the deceased soldier nor those of the wounded personnel has been made available.

The U.S. Army is reportedly carrying out next-of-kin notifications for family of the crew members ahead of a plan to release their names on Friday.

In April of this year, two Marines were killed in another recent helicopter crash. The Marines were flying an AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter during a weapons and tactics training course Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona.

Another crash in 2018 aboard the aircraft carrier flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan resulted in several injuries. The helicopter in question was a U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk, a service helicopter used by the Navy and derived from the UH-60 Black Hawk flown by the U.S. Army.

The Black Hawk has been in service since the 1980s and U.S. Army has been looking at options for a replacement as well as a replacement for the Army’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.