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Mosul Crash Leaves 17 Dead, Five Injured, One Missing

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2003 – Seventeen soldiers are dead, five others are injured, and one more still is unaccounted for following today's crash of two U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters in West Mosul, Iraq.

The helicopters crashed about 250 yards apart in a residential neighborhood at about 6:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. EST), U.S. Central Command officials said.

The injured were taken to the 21st Combat Support Hospital at the Mosul airfield.

The helicopters belonged to the Army's 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). One was carrying an aerial quick-reaction force, and the other was carrying soldiers on a transport mission, CENTCOM officials said. Both pilots were qualified in limited-visibility flight operations with night-vision goggles, officials added.

CENTCOM reported that soldiers from the 101st have secured the crash sites, and that Iraqi police and Iraqi firefighters also are on the scene.

"The leaders and soldiers of the 101st extend deepest sympathies and condolences to the family members and friends of the dead and injured," a CENTCOM news release said late this afternoon. "The 101st remains committed to accomplishing its mission of maintaining a safe and secure environment in Northern Iraq so that reconstruction and establishment of governmental institutions can go forward. The quick, joint response by 101st and Iraqi emergency units is a tribute to U.S.-Iraqi teamwork and the progress achieved in the region."

The cause is under investigation. Names of the dead will be released after their families are notified.

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