US Air Force helicopter crashes in England; four dead

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by LOLITA BALDOR and SYLVIA HUI

Associated Press

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 6:39 PM

Helicopter crash

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LONDON (AP) — A U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in a coastal area of eastern England during a training mission on Tuesday night, killing all four crew members aboard, officials said.

 

The helicopter crashed at about 6 p.m. local time near Salthouse on the Norfolk coast, a statement from the U.S. Air Force said. The aircraft was based at the Royal Air Force station in Lakenheath, Suffolk County, which hosts USAF units and personnel.

The helicopter, assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, was flying low at the time of the crash, the statement added.

In Washington, a U.S. defense official said the accident killed the four U.S. Air Force crew members aboard. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the crash publicly.

Police in Norfolk County cordoned off the area where the crash occurred, and several vehicles from the fire brigade, coast guard and police are at the scene. Police said they do not believe anyone in the area has been injured.

"An assessment is still being carried out around the munitions which may be on the aircraft and advice from the military is being taken," the police force said. It added that family members will be notified before details on the victims can be released.

Pave Hawks are often used for combat search and rescue missions, mainly to recover downed air crew members or other personnel during war.

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Baldor reported from Washington.

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