Three soldiers killed in military helicopter crash in upstate New York
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MENDON, NY (Nation Now) – Three soldiers died on Wednesday in a military helicopter crash in upstate New York.
Officials said three soldiers aboard the New York Army National Guard UH-60 medevac helicopter were killed in the crash during a routine training mission .
This happened around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Mendon, a suburb of Rochester, NewsNation affiliate WROC reports. Witnesses said they saw the helicopter flying low to the ground before crashing and catching fire in an open farm field.
Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said emergency crews arriving at the scene saw the helicopter on fire in the field and “went into rescue mode.”
“It’s a heavy burden on all of us,” Baxter said. “We are awaiting the National Guard for confirmation of who was on board and the identification of our large soldiers.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday ordered all flags on state buildings lowered to half the staff, saying in part in a statement:
“I am devastated by the crash of a New York Army National Guard helicopter in the town of Mendon which killed three of New York’s bravest on a training mission,” Cuomo said . “Members of the National Guard are our citizen soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect at home and abroad, and I extend the prayers and condolences of all New Yorkers to the families, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honorable heroes whom we will never forget. “
According to preliminary reports of 911 calls, witnesses heard the engine spit out as the helicopter flew low to the ground before crashing and catching fire.
Authorities believe three people were killed in the crash, but are awaiting full confirmation from the National Guard on the number of soldiers on board. They continue to search for possible survivors who could have ejected from the accident.
State police, the sheriff’s office and several local fire departments all responded to the scene. The accident is under investigation.
Senator Chuck Schumer also released a statement Wednesday evening, saying:
“I am sorry to learn that three of the brave New York Army National Guardsmen were killed in a helicopter crash while on a training mission. These National Guard members responded to the call. “call to help and serve their fellow New Yorkers and their country, and their sacrifices will never be forgotten. I extend my deepest condolences to the loved ones of these slain soldiers and to the entire Monroe County community.”
This is a developing story; come back for updates. NewsNation affiliate WROC contributed to this report.
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