Two U.S. Army helicopters collided Thursday as they were flying back from a military training flight near Healy, Alaska.
The collisions killed three soldiers and injured one. Two soldiers died at the scene and the third died while being transported to a hospital, according to a press release from the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division.
The two AH-64 helicopters were from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment based at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. The names of the soldiers have not been released.
““This is an incredible loss for these soldiers’ families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division,” Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, said in a statement. “Our hearts and prayers go out to their families, friends, and loved ones, and we are making the full resources of the Army available to support them.”
The official cause of the crash is still under investigation.
This is the second crash involving military helicopters in Alaska this year. In February, two soldiers were injured when an Apache helicopter rolled after taking off from Talkeetna.
In March, nine soldiers were killed when two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed during a nighttime training mission near Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The injured soldier is being treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Details on the extent of their injuries have not been reported.
“The Fort Wainwright community is one of the tightest military communities I’ve seen in my 32 years of service. I have no doubt they will pull together during this exceptional time of need and provide comfort to our families of our fallen,” Eifler added.
The release reports that Fort Wainwright’s Emergency Assistance Center will “provide support for families, friends, and fellow soldiers of those involved in the crash.”
Healy, Alaska is a small community of 1,000 people located on the Parks Highway in
Alaska’s interior region. It’s a popular place for people to spend the night while visiting Denali National Park.