2 National Guardsmen Dead in Black Hawk Helicopter Crash on Ala. Highway: 'Destroyed Beyond Recognition'

The Black Hawk helicopter was on a training mission when it crashed and caught fire on Wednesday, officials said, adding that no one on the ground was hurt

A Tennessee National Guard helicopter crashed in Alabama on Wednesday, killing two crew members.

The Tennessee National Guard confirmed the deaths in a news release, which revealed the Black Hawk helicopter was on a training mission when it crashed around 3 p.m. local time in the unincorporated community of Harvest along Alabama Highway 53.

"It was destroyed beyond recognition," Don Webster, the community relations director for Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, told the Tennessean.

In this image provided by Chris Montgomery, law enforcement work at the scene of a Black Hawk helicopter crash, in the unincorporated community of Harvest, Ala. U.S. military officials say two people on board the helicopter, which was from the Tennessee National Guard, were killed Helicopter Crash, Harvest, United States - 15 Feb 2023
Chris Montgomery/AP/Shutterstock

The cause of the crash is currently unknown, but the helicopter caught fire upon impact. There were no reported injuries to anyone on the ground.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of two Tennessee National Guardsmen, and our prayers are with their families during this heartbreaking tragedy," said Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee's Adjutant General, in a statement.

"We ask Tennesseans to join us in supporting their families during this time of unthinkable grief," he continued.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee expressed his condolences and offered support to the families of the deceased crew members.

"Maria and I are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of two Tennessee National Guard members," Gov. Lee said on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. "Please join us in lifting their families up in prayer and support during this time of unspeakable grief."

In a tweet, Alabama District 5 Rep. Dale Strong said his "heart hurts" for the relatives of the victims, who have not been publicly identified as of Thursday afternoon.

"I'm deeply saddened by the fatal helicopter crash that happened in Madison County today," Strong said. "My heart hurts for those who lost their lives in this tragic incident and for their families as they learn of this news."

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Per the AP, Black Hawk helicopter crashes during training exercises have occurred several times in recent years. In 2022, whiteout conditions caused a Black Hawk helicopter pilot to crash into another helicopter near a Utah ski resort. No one was injured in the incident.

Three Idaho Army National Guard pilots died in 2021 when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training flight near Boise, AP reported.

In 2020, two soldiers were killed and three were injured when their Black Hawk helicopter went down during training off the California coast.

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