Nine Confirmed Dead In Crash Of Two U.S. Army Black Hawk Helicopters

The two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters went down in an incident near Fort Campbell and close to the Tennessee border.

byThomas Newdick|
UH-60 101st US ARMY
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Cannon/Released


Details are still fairly limited, but two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters crashed during a routine nighttime training mission over Kentucky, at around 10:00 P.M. local time on Wednesday. Nine soldiers were killed in the crash, according to Lt. Col. Anthony Hoefler, an Army spokesman. Five of those killed were onboard one of the helicopters, four in the other, and there were no survivors, although exactly how the accident unfolded remains unclear at this point.

The U.S. Army’s Fort Campbell in Kentucky confirmed the incident to Reuters but the Army initially only confirmed “several casualties.” The location of the incident is reportedly near Highway 68, in Trigg county in the southwest of Kentucky, not far from the Tennessee border, and around 30 miles northwest of Fort Campbell.

The location of Trigg County on the far southwestern border of the state of Kentucky. Fort Campbell is located immediately to the east. Google Maps

“This was a training progression, and specifically they were flying a multi-ship formation, two ships, under night-vision goggles at night,” said Brig. Gen. John Lubas, the 101st Airborne deputy commander.

“We’ve got some tough news out of Fort Campbell, with early reports of a helicopter crash, and fatalities are expected,” the Kentucky governor, Andy Beshear, said in a post on Twitter, in one of the first reports of the crash. He added that local authorities and emergency services were responding to the incident.

A report from WKDZ Radio quotes an unnamed witness, who lives about a half mile from the crash site, saying they heard “a pop” and “two booms.”

Another local resident, Nick Tomaszewski, told WSMV-TV about what he saw of the incident:

“I told my wife, ‘Wow, those look really close tonight’ for whatever reason… about a minute later, they were coming across and there was a large explosion in the sky almost look like a firework went off. And then the entire tree line lit up.”

The two Black Hawk helicopters — both said to be HH-60Ms, which are “dust-off” or air ambulance variants — were operated by the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), according to Fort Campbell’s public affairs office.

“The command is currently focused on caring for the service members and their families,” Fort Campbell’s statement said, adding that the cause of the crash was under investigation.

A spokesperson for Kentucky State Police confirmed that personnel were assisting Fort Campbell authorities after an “aircraft incident” in a rural area.

According to State Police Post 1 spokesperson Trooper Sarah Burgess, the state police were alerted to the incident at around 10:15 P.M. that occurred in an area with a field and woods, adding “numerous agencies” were assisting.

No residential areas are affected, Trooper Burgess added.

Among the emergency services called to respond to the incident, according to WKDZ Radio, are the East Golden Pond Fire Department, which has been involved in tackling the resulting fire.

Weather conditions at the time of the incident were reported to be clear with light to no wind.

This is not the first accident involving an Army Black Hawk in recent weeks. Last month, two Tennessee National Guard pilots were killed when their Black Hawk crashed on an Alabama highway during training.

This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.

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