JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Army says three soldiers were killed and another was injured after two helicopters collided and crashed in Alaska while returning from a training flight.
The Army says two soldiers died at the scene of Thursday’s crash and a third died on the way to a hospital in Fairbanks. The Army statement says a fourth soldier was being treated at a hospital for injuries.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AP) — Two U.S. army helicopters crashed Thursday in Alaska returning from a training flight, the second accident involving military helicopters in the state this year.
Each helicopter carried two people, said John Pennell, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Alaska. Pennell said he did not immediately have any other information he could share about the condition of those involved.
First responders were on scene at the crash site, near Healy, Alaska, a statement from the U.S. Army Alaska said.
The AH-64 Apache helicopters were from Fort Wainwright, based near Fairbanks.
Officials said the crash was under investigation and more details would be released when they become available.
Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers, said the state agency was not involved in the response.
In February, two soldiers were injured when an Apache helicopter rolled after taking off from Talkeetna. The aircraft was one of four traveling to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage from Fort Wainwright.
In March, nine soldiers were killed when two U.S. Army Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters crashed during a routine nighttime training exercise about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Healy is located about 10 miles (16.09 kilometers) north of Denali National Park and Preserve, or about 250 miles (402 kilometers) north of Anchorage.
Healy is a community of about 1,000 people located on the Parks Highway in Alaska’s interior region. It is a popular place for people to spend the night while visiting the nearby park, which is home to Denali, the continent’s tallest mountain.
Healy is also famous for being the town closest to the former bus that had been abandoned in the backcountry and was popularized by the book “Into the Wild” and the movie of the same name. The bus was removed and taken to Fairbanks in 2020.