South Korea – A U.S. military helicopter crashed in South Korea on Monday during training, killing the two pilots aboard, police and military officials said.

The U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed in central South Korea, in the county of Wonju in Gangwon province. Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said it was assigned to the Second Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, according to Reuters. He added that the event occurred during a routine training mission, and that the case is under investigation.

South Korean firefighters search through the helicopters wreckage. Credit: AFP.
South Korean firefighters search through the helicopters wreckage. Credit: AFP.

The identities of both pilots aren’t public yet, as the families have to be notified first. Lt. Col. Mark Gillespie, deputy commander of 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, stated that they send their prayers and condolences to the families of the Soldiers involved in the tragic incident. Also, he added that their first priority is to provide the families the support they need in a tough time such as this.

Authorities in South Korea believe the helicopter may have hit high-voltage power lines, or even a steel tower –referring to an electricity pylon–, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

This news agency also reported that a power line was among the wreckage left after the crash, and that the top of the tower was damaged. However, the accident didn’t caused additional casualties or property damage.

Nearly 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, teamed with the South’s forces against North Korea. Both South Korea and North Korea are in a technical state of war, currently under a truce, after the 1950’s Korean war.

Source: Reuters