Four U.S. Air Force members died on Tuesday when their Black Hawk-style helicopter crashed into a bird sanctuary off the coast of England. Witnesses recalled seeing the choppers flying very low to the ground in the hours leading up to the crash, but it was reportedly just a routine exercise.
The HH-60G Pave Hawk is an updated version of the U.S. Army Black Hawk, and primarily used in search-and-rescue missions, medical evacuation, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. So presumably, it’s supposed to fly close to the ground.
The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday evening that four service members had indeed been killed in the crash, but no names have been released yet.
Authorities believe that ammunition may have been on board, so the area will be cordoned off until experts can make sure it’s safe.
The nature sanctuary, managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, consists of over 400 acres of protected marshes, and is “frequented by geese and other waterfowl migrating from Greenland, Iceland, and North America.” Some of the locals wondered if some stray birds may have caused the crash.
However it happened, this is tragic, and hearts are breaking as four families are finding out that their soldiers are never coming home.
Have you ever lost someone in a tragic accident?
Image via Jim Sher/Flickr