Authorities: Debris From Chopper Crash That Killed 4 US Airmen ' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Authorities: Debris From Chopper Crash That Killed 4 US Airmen 'Size Of A Football Field'

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A USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter like one which crashed in England Tuesday, killing four U.S. airmen. A USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter like one which crashed in England Tuesday, killing four U.S. airmen.

NBCNEWS.COM - Four American airmen were killed when a U.S. military helicopter carrying live ammunition crashed into a nature reserve on the east coast of England on Tuesday, spreading debris across an area the size of a sports field, police said. 

The Air Force HH-60 Pave-Hawk chopper— a modified version of the Army's Black Hawk — was practicing flying at low altitudes when it went down, the U.S. officials said. It was assigned to RAF Lakenheath, the British base that is also home to the U.S. Air Force's 48th Fighter Wing.

"The actual crash site I would describe as an area of debris on difficult terrain on the marsh about the size of a football field,"  Chief Superintendent of Norfolk Police Bob Scully, adding that the area had been cordoned off from locals because the crashed aircraft contained live ammunition that is hazardous to members of the public. He added that another helicopter had been taking part in the training mission.

"Because they were both airborne the most immediate aircraft to provide assistance or be available at the scene was the other aircraft," Scully said. "During the night police, Royal Air Force and United States Air Force have been conducting a full scene assessment in difficult terrain and that has allowed us to plan for the activities today which will involve further close examination and scene examination and preserving evidence from the crash site," he said.

The bodies remained at the scene early Wednesday he said, because the British coroner needed to conduct a daylight assessment of the scene which he described as being on "difficult terrain."

"We will arrange as soon as possible for the deceased to be removed from the site," he said, adding that U.S. officials would be responsible for notifying loved ones. The names of the airmen killed in the crash will be released 24 hours after those notifications, a spokesman for the 48th Fighter Wing said in a separate statement.

Chief Superintendent Scully said that the management of the scene would be handed to the air investigation branches of the U.K. and U.S, military. "They will carry out a more technical investigation that may last for some considerable time," he said.

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