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Army investigates fatal helicopter crash

LEADVILLE, Colo. (AP) - The Army is investigating the crash of a
Special Operations helicopter on Colorado's second-highest mountain
that killed two people, injured one and left another missing.

The Black Hawk helicopter from Fort Campbell, Ky., was on a
training exercise when it crashed at about 2 p.m. Wednesday about
400 feet from the summit of 14,421-foot Mount Massive,
investigators said.

Lt. Col. John Clearwater of the Special Operations Command at
Fort Bragg, N.C., would not say Thursday whether the missing person
had been found. Mount Massive is 85 miles southwest of Denver.

He wouldn't comment on the search, but said an investigation was
under way.

The Lake County, Colo., Sheriff's Department said the injured
person was flown to a Denver hospital. The person's condition
wasn't immediately known.

No names were released.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Betty Benson told The Gazette in Colorado
Springs on Wednesday that the two who died were soldiers from Fort
Campbell.

Clearwater wouldn't say whether the other two aboard were
military personnel.

The cause of the crash wasn't immediately released. The Denver
Post reported the Black Hawk's flight recorder was recovered.

Officials at Fort Campbell and at the Lake County Sheriff's
Department declined to comment Thursday.

The helicopter was assigned to the 160th Special Operations
Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell. Soldiers in the
160th are known as "night stalkers" because they specialize in
nighttime operations, according to the military.

The regiment's Web site says the 160th has carried out combat
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Army didn't elaborate
on the purpose of the Colorado maneuvers.

The MH-60 Black Hawk is frequently used for infiltration
missions and to bring supplies to special operations forces in the
field, according to the unit's Web site. The helicopter is also
used for rescue and medical evacuations, and an armed version is
used for escort and fire support.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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