U.S. Helicopter Crash Kills 3 Soldiers

AP Wire Service

WASHINGTON – Three U.S. soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed into the Tigris River in northern Iraq, Pentagon officials said Friday.

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Samarra, between Baghdad and Tikrit, the officials said. The only other soldier on the helicopter was injured.

Preliminary reports indicated the crash was an accident, a senior Pentagon official said.

The Black Hawk is the Army’s main troop transport helicopter. A crew of four usually flies the Black Hawk, which can carry up to 11 soldiers.

The last Black Hawk to crash in Iraq was shot down by Iraqis near Karbala April 2, killing six.

A Black Hawk crashed in March in a remote, wooded area of Fort Drum, N.Y., during a training exercise, killing 11 of the 13 soldiers aboard.

In February, a Black Hawk crashed during night training in the Kuwaiti desert, killing all four crew members. The Kuwaiti military said sandstorms were reported in the area at the time the chopper went down.