3 soldiers dead, 1 injured after 2 Army helicopters from Fort Wainwright crash near Healy
HEALY, Alaska (KTUU) - The United States Army reports that three soldiers were killed and one more was injured when two AH-64 Apache helicopters based at Fort Wainwright collided in midair Thursday in the Denali Borough near the town of Healy.
Army officials say that the two helicopters from the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment were returning from a training flight. Two people were aboard each helicopter; a total of four servicemembers.
“Two soldiers were declared dead at the scene of the crash and a third died en route to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. The fourth soldier is being treated at Fairbanks Memorial for injuries sustained in the crash,” a press release from the Army said.
Maj. Gen Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, expressed his sympathies to the families of the soldiers as well as their brothers and sisters in arms.
“This is an incredible loss for these soldiers’ families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division,” Eifler said. “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 loss of the three soldiers is likely to impact the extended military family at Fort Wainwright and across Alaska.
“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 said.
The crash occurred in a remote area of Alaska that features rugged, mountainous terrain, according to the U.S. Army. The two Apache helicopters collided while in flight, the release said.
Resources at Fort Wainwright’s Emergency Assistance Center have been activated to provide support for families, friends and fellow soldiers of those involved in the crash. Fort Wainwright community members who need support can visit Army Community Service in Building 3401, Santiago Road.
Further information about the cause of the crash will be provided following as the Army Combat Readiness Center’s investigation proceeds.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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