US Black Hawk helicopter crashes off Yemen coast

A search was under way for one US service member who was aboard the aircraft

FILE PHOTO: U.S. army soldiers get ready to land from a Black Hawk helicopter during Suwalki gap defence exercise in Mikyciai, Lithuania, June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo
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A US Black Hawk helicopter crashed approximately 32 kilometres off the southern coast of Yemen while the crew was training on Friday evening. A search was under way for one US service member.

The US military said that the incident took place at about 7pm local time.

“US forces in the region are conducting an ongoing search for one US service member who was aboard the aircraft,” the US Central Command said in a statement. “Five US service members who were also aboard the aircraft were rescued by US forces following the crash.

“An investigation will be initiated.”

CENTCOM spokesman Col John Thomas told Reuters that the “helicopter was not very high above the water” when the incident took place.


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At least 80 air strikes have been launched by the US against Al Qaeda in Yemen since the end of February, reported Reuters. A small number of ground raids using US Special Operations forces have also taken place, including one in January that resulted in the death of one US Navy Seal.

The crash on Friday was one of a number of aviation mishaps involving US military aircraft in recent months, and the third involving a Black Hawk helicopter.

The US Marine Corps said on Friday that it had recovered the bodies of three marines killed when an MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed into the back of a US warship during a training mission off the east coast of Australia on August 5.

A search to find five army aviators whose Black Hawk helicopter crashed earlier this month off Hawaii was recently suspended.

In April, one crew member was killed and two others seriously injured when their Black Hawk US army helicopter crashed on a Maryland golf course.

Meanwhile, 16 service members were killed in a military transport place crash in northern Mississippi last month.