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Five Soldiers Confirmed Dead in Honduras Helicopter Crash

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2002 – Five soldiers died Dec. 11 when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Honduras, according to U.S. Southern Command officials.

The aircraft, from the 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, crashed at about 8:55 p.m. local time near Lake Yajoa, about three miles east of Santa Cruz.

Search and rescue assets were deployed immediately but were unable to reach the crash site because of poor weather conditions, a Southern Command news release states. A defense official said rescue teams reached the crash site this morning and recovered the remains of all five crewmembers.

Names of the soldiers killed have not been released pending notification of their next of kin.

Southern Command officials released no details of flight conditions at the time or of a possible cause of the accident, noting an investigation is ongoing.

The aircraft was returning to its home base at Soto Cano Air Base from a routine training mission when it crashed, Southern Command officials said. The unit is assigned to Joint Task Force Bravo, the military command at Soto Cano that overseas training, counterdrug and humanitarian missions in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, is part of U.S. Army South, headquartered at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.

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