One soldier died in a U.S. Army helicopter crash on the Breton Bay Golf Course and Country Club in Leonardtown, Maryland, Military.com has learned.
Officials at Fort Belvoir, which is located about 40 miles northwest of the country club, said a UH-60 Black Hawk attached to the base's 12th Aviation Battalion, which provides aviation support to the Army Military District of Washington, "had a hard landing," according to a statement posted on the base's Facebook page.
In all, three crew members were on board. The two survivors of the crash are at the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, officials with Military District of Washington said in an announcement Monday afternoon. One is in serious condition and the other in critical condition, officials said. Their names are expected to be released upon notification of their next-of-kin.
Initially, officials told Military.com that there were no fatalities from the crash, confirming only that one member of the crew had been medically evacuated with injuries.
A spokeswoman for MDW, Col. Amanda Azubuike, said she could not immediately confirm when the fatally injured Black Hawk crew member was confirmed dead, or whether the crew member was alive when transported to the trauma center.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Army, MDW officials said. A team from the Army Combat Readiness Center out of Fort Rucker, Alabama, plans to visit the site of the crash Tuesday to begin the investigation, according to the release.
"We are deeply saddened by this loss within our community," said Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Becker, commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. "Our condolences go out to the families and friends affected by this tragedy, and our team is focused on supporting them during this difficult time."
The chopper went down around 1:37 p.m., Army officials said. Officials at Fort Belvoir initially described the incident to Military.com as a "hard landing." Crash scene photos taken by The BayNet, a southern Maryland news outlet, depict what appeared to be a destroyed black chopper with fire department personnel on hand.
The chopper was conducting a routine training mission when it went down, MDW officials said.
A spokesman for the Maryland State Police, Greg Shipley, said the department had dispatched two helicopters to the scene of the crash in St. Mary's county, but declined to provide any additional information about the aircraft that crashed or the personnel onboard.