Army team will lead probe into Minnesota helicopter crash | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Army team will lead probe into Minnesota helicopter crash

Gov. Tim Walz speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 in Marty, Minn. A Black Hawk helicopter with three crew members aboard crashed Thursday in central Minnesota, the Minnesota National Guard said, though officials did not offer any immediate information about the conditions of crew members. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP)
December 06, 2019 - 6:17 PM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Army investigators will lead the probe into the crash of a Minnesota National Guard helicopter that killed all three soldiers aboard.

A five-member team from Fort Rucker, Alabama, was expected to arrive Friday to begin the work of determining why the Black Hawk crashed in a farm field Thursday during a routine maintenance test flight. It went down about 15 miles (24 kilometres) southwest of St. Cloud, in central Minnesota.

Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota National Guard, told the St. Cloud Times on Friday that the names of the crew members would be released Saturday following a waiting period after notifying their families.

Heusdens said each family would be assigned a casualty assistance officer to help connect them to support programs “as long as the family needs them.”

Gov. Tim Walz ordered flags flown at half-staff at state and federal buildings throughout Minnesota from 2:05 p.m. Friday until 2:05 p.m. Monday. That was the time on Thursday when the Guard lost contact with the crew shortly after the helicopter took off from the St. Cloud airport.

“These fine soldiers served with distinction and put others before themselves," Walz, who served in the Guard for 24 years, said in his proclamation. “The people of Minnesota honour these soldiers for their dedicated service, pray for their loved ones, and recognize their ultimate sacrifice to our state and country.”

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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