International military forces are working to recover pieces of a Chinook helicopter that crashed over the weekend, killing 30 American troops, seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter, NATO said
Via: Huffington Post: German Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, told reporters that troops had secured the crash site in a rugged area of eastern Wardak province and nobody was being allowed in or out of the area while the investigation was ongoing.
Jacobson said the coalition still had not yet determined the exact cause of the crash, but some officials have said the heavy and lumbering transport helicopter was apparently shot down. Officials said the helicopter was hit as it was flying in and approaching the area.
“We are still investigating this incident so we have no picture of what was the cause for the incident. That is what the investigation is basically all about,” Jacobson said.
The helicopter was ferrying a group of Navy SEALs to reinforce a group of Army Rangers who were under fire. It remains unclear if the Rangers and SEALs were taking part in a night raid to capture or kill an insurgent leader.
It was deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war.
Another NATO helicopter made a hard landing Monday in eastern Paktia province, the U.S.-led coalition said. It did not report any casualties and said the cause of the hard landing was under investigation. The coalition said there was no enemy activity in the area at the time.
The helicopter was a CH-47 of the same type that crashed on Saturday. It was flying in to pick up special operations troops, but apparently suffered a mechanical failure and crash landed, an officer in the war zone said. He could not be named because he was not authorized to comment publicly. The crew was rescued by the troops.
The fatal crash on Saturday highlights the risks confronting the U.S.-led coalition as it looks to rely more on special operations forces while reducing the overall number of troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Read more over at The Huffington Post.