By KIMBERLY CHANDLER and LOLITA C. BALDOR
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A Black Hawk helicopter from the Tennessee National Guard crashed Wednesday in Alabama, killing everyone on board, a spokesman for the Madison County sheriff’s office said.
“We have no survivors,” Investigator Brent Patterson said. “We have a crime scene here. We have it taped off.”
U.S. military officials said two members of the Tennessee National Guard on board were killed. An Army official said the helicopter, which was on a training mission, crashed around 3:30 p.m. local time and caught fire. The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an incident that was under investigation.
The UH-60 helicopter, more widely known as a Black Hawk, crashed in the unincorporated community of Harvest along Alabama Highway 53, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said in a statement.
The highway along which the crash happened passes through commercial areas northwest of Huntsville that are bounded by subdivisions, forests and fields south of the state line with Tennessee. The sheriff’s office said in a statement that the crash was causing heavy traffic delays that are expected to last into Thursday.
Harvest is just northwest of Huntsville, which is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal. The once rural area has become increasingly suburban and is about 90 miles south of Nashville.
A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration referred questions to the military. A spokesperson for the Tennessee National Guard did not immediately return requests for comment.
Local news outlets showed large plumes of black smoke rising from the crash site. Multiple emergency response vehicles were on scene.
“I’m deeply saddened by the fatal helicopter crash that happened in Madison County today,” U.S. Rep. Dale Strong, who represents Alabama’s 5th District, said in a tweet. “My heart hurts for those who lost their lives in this tragic incident and for their families as they learn of this news.”
Chandler reported from Montgomery, Alabama, and Baldor reported from Chicago.
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