(ST. CLOUD, Minn.) — Three soldiers aboard a Minnesota Army National Guard helicopter were killed after the UH-60 Black Hawk crashed during a flight from an Army aviation facility in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Thursday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said.
The UH-60 Black Hawk lost communication with the tower about 2:05 p.m. on Thursday while it was conducting a maintenance test flight, according to the Minnesota National Guard.
Officials said the names of the soldiers would be released once their families were notified.
According to emergency radio calls, the helicopter called in a “mayday” about nine minutes after takeoff. Imagery from later in the afternoon showed what appeared to be wreckage from the Black Hawk just inside a tree line following an intense search effort.”The Minnesota Army National Guard is currently trying to work with local authorities in St. Cloud based on its flight pattern,” Army Col. Joe Sharkey, director of communications for the Minnesota National Guard, told ABC News after the helicopter was reported missing.Information about the helicopter’s flight destination was not immediately available, Sharkey said.”The Minnesota Army National Guard is currently trying to work with local authorities in St. Cloud based on its flight pattern,” Sharkey told ABC News.In September, one soldier was killed and three others were injured during an Army helicopter accident at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk training area in Louisiana.A spokesperson for Fort Polk told ABC News at the time that the helicopter was a UH-60 Black Hawk medevac unit comprised of four soldiers that crashed while en route to pick up another soldier needing treatment for heat-related symptoms.It was unclear what caused that crash, but the spokesperson said that the weather was clear and the helicopter did not strike power lines.Then in November, two Apache pilots were killed during a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan. Initial indications were that the helicopter was not brought down by enemy fire.This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.