(CNN) Nine U.S. soldiers were killed when two helicopters with the 101st Airborne Division crashed late Wednesday in southwestern Kentucky, officials said. There were no survivors.
Officials at nearby Fort Campbell said two HH-60 Blackhawk helicopters crashed in Drick County, near the Tennessee border, around 10 p.m. said Early Thursday. The site said in a statement that they were engaged in routine training when the incident occurred Facebook.
The helicopters are medical evacuation aircraft, and the crash is believed to have occurred while they were flying, not during a medical evacuation exercise, Brig. Gen. John Lupas, deputy commander of the 101st Airborne Division, said during a Thursday morning news conference at Fort Campbell.
He said there were no additional casualties or injuries as the plane went down in an open field opposite the residential area.
The names of the dead will not be released until their families are notified, Lupas said.
“We’re going to do what we always do,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said during a news conference, acknowledging the families of fallen soldiers. “We’re going to wrap our arms around these families, and we’re going to be with them, not just days, but weeks and months and years.”
An Army investigative team from Fort Rucker, Alabama, will go to the crash site to investigate the cause, Lupas said.
An accident occurs within two months Two Tennessee National Guardsmen were killed Their UH-60 Blackhawk crashed during a training flight in Alabama.
Overall, the military has averaged five deaths per year in line-of-duty aviation accidents since fiscal year 2018. US Army Combat Readiness Center.
“This is a tough day for the military,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Thursday while discussing the accident during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “Thank you for your comments and thoughts and prayers for the families of our fallen soldiers. Our hearts go out to them.”
“I am devastated to learn of the military helicopter crash in Kentucky involving our brave 101st Airborne,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a statement. Twitter. “My team is in contact with the military and officials on the ground. Please pray for our service members and their families as we learn more.”
CNN’s Nikki Robertson and Mitch McCluskey contributed to this report.
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