3 Members of US National Guard Killed in New York Helicopter Crash

3 Members of US National Guard Killed in New York Helicopter Crash

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Three US National Guard members were killed in a helicopter crash in New York state Wednesday night, according to the state's Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

The craft, a UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter, crashed around 6:30 p.m. in Mendon, New York, a rural town south of Rochester, said Eric Durr, public affairs director of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, the Army Times reported.

The helicopter flew out of the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport, and was assigned to C Company of the 1st Battalion, 171st General Support Aviation Battalion, he said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said flags on state buildings would be lowered to half-staff on Thursday to pay tribute to the troops.

The New York National Guard is headed to Mendon and will conduct a joint investigation with the Federal Aviation Administration, Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter said in a news conference.

Deputies will complete a preliminary investigation of the crash and expect to remain at the scene overnight and on Thursday.

A New York State Police helicopter assisted in the search for potential survivors, hovering over the crash site. The debris field extends "a few city blocks," roughly hundreds of feet in each direction from the crash site, Baxter said.

Mendon Fire Chief Bill Kessler said the helicopter was on fire when first responders arrived at the scene. The airport's fire department was also called to the scene to extinguish the fire, he said.

While there are houses near the crash site, Baxter said no buildings were struck.

Mendon is a town of about 10,000 people in upstate New York, according to US Census data. It's just under 80 miles west of Syracuse.  

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