CNN

3 soldiers dead, 1 injured after Army Apache helicopters collide midair while returning from a training flight in Alaska

Apr 28, 2023, 5:30 PM

Two helicopters that crashed Thursday near Healy, Alaska, were part of the US Army's 1st Battalion,...

Two helicopters that crashed Thursday near Healy, Alaska, were part of the US Army's 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Fort Wainwright. Photo credit: Eve Baker/Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office/AP/FILE

 (CNN) — Three soldiers were killed and another was injured when two AH-64 Apache helicopters collided Thursday as they were flying back from a military training flight near Healy, Alaska, US Army officials said.

Two of the soldiers died at the scene and the third died while being transported to a hospital, according to a release from the US Army’s 11th Airborne Division.

The names of the deceased are being withheld until 24 hours after their families have been notified, the release said.

The crash occurred about 100 miles south of Fort Wainwright, where the helicopters are based as part of the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment.

“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, said 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.”

US Army officials said Friday that the surviving soldier is in stable condition at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

The deadly collision comes less than a month after nine soldiers were killed when two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed during a nighttime training mission near Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the Army said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

“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 added.

Fort Wainwright’s Emergency Assistance Center is available to “provide support for families, friends and fellow soldiers of those involved in the crash,” the release said.

The crash will be investigated by an Army Combat Readiness Center team, the release said.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took to Twitter on Friday to send “thoughts and prayers” to the soldiers involved in the incident.

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3 soldiers dead, 1 injured after Army Apache helicopters collide midair while returning from a training flight in Alaska