INVESTIGATION BEGINS - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

INVESTIGATION BEGINS

RAINIER, Wash. (AP) - An investigative team is expected to begin work Wednesday morning at the wreckage of two helicopters that crashed during training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this week,
killing four aviators.

The airmen's remains were removed from the scene Tuesday. Army officials have not identified the deceased soldiers or the cause of Monday night's crash near the community of Rainier.

It's unclear whether the aircraft collided or crashed separately. Chief Warrant Officer 5 James Oliphant, an aviation safety officer at the base, said the aviators' colleagues have halted
further activity as they analyze and grieve the tragedy. He says the organization is standing down to "begin the healing process."

Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield says the airmen's remains have been taken to Madigan Army Medical Center, and officials were still notifying their families as of Tuesday afternoon.

      
      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

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