Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Three soldiers killed in army helicopter crash in Alaska, says US army

Another pilot injured in the incident

Namita Singh
Friday 28 April 2023 07:05 BST
File: A US Apache helicopter maneuvers during a joint military exercise in Philippines on Friday, 14 April 2023
File: A US Apache helicopter maneuvers during a joint military exercise in Philippines on Friday, 14 April 2023 (AP)

Three US army helicopter pilots died in Alaska after two Apaches collided and crashed while returning from a training mission.

Another soldier was injured in the incident, the US army said.

The AH-64 Apache helicopters from Fort Wainwright crashed near Healy, Alaska, the 11th Airborne Division said on Facebook.

Two of the soldiers died at the scene of the crash and the third died on the way to a hospital in Fairbanks, the Army said in a statement. The fourth soldier was being treated at a hospital for injuries, said the army as it withheld their identities till the families were notified.

Each helicopter was carrying two people at the time of the crash, John Pennell, a spokesperson for the US Army Alaska said earlier Thursday. The helicopters were from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Fort Wainwright, based near Fairbanks.

"This is an incredible loss for these soldiers’ families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division," Major General Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, said in the 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 Army said the cause of the crash was under investigation and more details would be released when they become available.

The crash is the second accident involving military helicopters in Alaska this year.

In February, two soldiers were injured when an Apache helicopter rolled after taking off from Talkeetna. The aircraft was one of four traveling to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage from Fort Wainwright.

In March, nine soldiers were killed when two US Army Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters crashed during a routine nighttime training exercise about 48km northeast of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

About 300 National Guard helicopters have crashed between 2012 and 2021, during noncombat flights, reported the New York Times, citing a report from US government accountability office.

Additional reporting from the wires

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in