Nine soldiers were killed after two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters crashed Wednesday night during a training mission in southwestern Kentucky, authorities said.
The HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division crashed around 10 p.m. Wednesday in Trigg County, Kentucky, to the west of the Army base Fort Campbell, the division said in a Thursday statement.
Fort Campbell spokesperson Nondice Thurman confirmed nine soldiers died in the crash.
The 101st Airborne Division, nicknamed the “Screaming Eagles,” is the only air assault division of the U.S. Army.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a Twitter statement that fatalities were expected, adding that Kentucky State Police, the state’s division of emergency management and local officials are responding.
Beshear said he will travel to Fort Campbell to “support our troops and their families after last night’s tragic incident.”
“Please pray for all those affected,” he said.
The crash occurred in a “field, some wooded area,” and there are no reports of damage to homes, Kentucky State Police Trooper Sarah Burgess said at a news conference.
A news conference on the crash is expected to be held at 9 a.m. local time, or 10 a.m. ET, Thursday, according to multiple media reports.
Previous helicopter crashes
Last month, two Tennessee National Guard pilots were killed when their Blackhawk helicopter crashed along an Alabama highway during a training exercise.
The Kentucky incident also comes days after a police helicopter crashed Sunday in a sugar cane field in Louisiana, killing two police officers.
Contributing: The Associated Press