Missing Black Hawk Helicopter Has Crashed, Minnesota Guard Confirms

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A UH-60 Black Hawk from an Army National Guard unit flies over Fort Hood, Texas. (Sydney Mariette/U.S. Army)
A UH-60 Black Hawk from an Army National Guard unit flies over Fort Hood, Texas. (Sydney Mariette/U.S. Army)

Minnesota National Guard officials confirmed Thursday evening that the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that went missing earlier in the day has crashed.

Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens told Military.com at 6:05 p.m. that search teams have located the crash site, but said she did not have information on the location of the crash. The St. Cloud Times reported that the helicopter crashed near Pearl Lake, which is located southwest of St. Cloud.

There is still no information about the condition of the three Minnesota Guard members that were aboard the flight, Heusdens said.

At roughly 2:05 p.m. local time, the Guard "lost contact with a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter while it was conducting a maintenance test flight that originated from St. Cloud, Minnesota," Heusdens said in a news release.

According to emergency scanner traffic, the helicopter called in a mayday about nine minutes after takeoff, the St. Cloud Times reported.

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Heusdens would not confirm the account.

The Minnesota Guard and local emergency services joined forces to determine the location and status of the aircraft, according to the release.

The St. Cloud Times reported that local law enforcement agencies were attempting "to ping the location of passengers' cell phones" to try to find the helicopter's location.

"Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our Guardsmen, and our thoughts are with our soldiers and their families at this time," Heusdens said in the release.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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