- The UH-60 took off from an airport in St. Cloud, Minnesota, about 1.55pm Thursday and called mayday about nine minutes later
- The helicopter was found by a Minnesota State Patrol trooper just after 4pm near Pearl Lake, just south of Marty, according to emergency scanner traffic
- Three soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard were killed in the crash
- The National Guard said the helicopter was a UH-60 Black Hawk from the guard’s Army Aviation Safety Facility in St. Cloud
Three soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard were killed Thursday when the Black Hawk helicopter they were riding in for a routine maintenance test flight crashed in a farm field in central Minnesota.
The identities of the soldiers were not immediately released, pending notification of family.
The crash was being investigated and preliminary information on the cause was not released.
The National Guard said the helicopter was a UH-60 Black Hawk from the guard´s Army Aviation Safety Facility in St. Cloud.
Gov. Tim Walz told a news conference: ‘My heart breaks for the families, the friends and fellow soldiers.
‘The coming days will be dark and difficult.’
He said Minnesota stands ready to assist the families of the soldiers who were killed.
Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, said in a tweet: ‘Our Minnesota National Guard family is devastated by the deaths of these soldiers. Our priority right now is ensuring that our families are taken care of.’
The Guard lost contact with the helicopter shortly after it took off at 1.55pm on a maintenance test flight from St. Cloud on Thursday afternoon, Guard Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens said. The helicopter called mayday about nine minutes after takeoff.