Two U.S. Army helicopters collided during a training mission in Alaska on Thursday, killing three soldiers and injuring a fourth, according to the Army.
The AH-64 Apache helicopters, from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th aviation Regiment at Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks, were returning from a training mission when the two collided mid-flight, John Pennell, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Alaska, stated in a press release Thursday. Each helicopter was holding two soldiers at the time of the collision, CBS News reported. (RELATED: Black Hawk Helicopters For 101st Airborne Division Collide, Reportedly Causing Nine Deaths)
Two soldiers were declared dead at the scene of the crash while a third died while being transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. The fourth victim is undergoing treatment at the hospital for injuries sustained in the crash, the release stated.
“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, stated in the release. “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 Fort Wainwright community is one of the tightest military communities I’ve seen in my 32 years of service,” Eifler continued. “I have no doubt they will pull together during this exceptional time of need and provide comfort to our families of our fallen.”
The names of the victims are being held for 24 hours until next of kin notifications are completed, the Army announced.
“Our hearts go out to the families of our fallen aviators, and our thoughts and prayers are with them and all of their friends and coworkers,” Fort Wainwright expressed on social media.