Two members of the Tennessee National Guard were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed Wednesday afternoon near Huntsville, Ala., during a routine training mission, the agency said.
The crash happened around 3:00 p.m. local time just off Highway 53 in Madison County, and the helicopter caught fire on impact, Huntsville EMS told CBS News. Cell phone video showed a plume of black smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air on the side of the highway.
The crash site was about 10 miles northwest of Huntsville.
The dead Guardsmen were the only two people on board the helicopter, the Tennessee National Guard said in a statement, and no one on the ground was injured in the crash. The names of the two victims have not been released.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of two Tennessee National Guard soldiers, and we pray for their families during this heartbreaking tragedy,” said Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee’s adjutant general, said in a statement. “We are asking Tennesseans to join us in supporting their families during this time of unimaginable grief.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.
— David Martin contributed to this report.
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