Three members of the US National Guard were killed in a helicopter crash in New York State, according to the state’s Military and Maritime Affairs Division.
The UH-60 helicopter crashed for medical evacuation at around 6:30 pm. In Mindon, New York, a rural town south of Rochester, said Eric Dor, director of public affairs in the New York State Division of Military and Marine Affairs, the Army Times reported.
He said the helicopter exited from the Army Aviation Support facility at Rochester International Airport, and was assigned to Company C of the 1st Battalion, General Support Battalion 171.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said flags on government buildings will drop to half the staff on Thursday in honor of the soldiers.
Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter at a press conference that the New York National Guard is heading to Mindon and will conduct a joint investigation with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Representatives will complete a preliminary investigation into the accident and expect to remain on site overnight.
A New York State Police helicopter assisted in the search for potential survivors, and flew over the crash site. Baxter said the debris field extended “a few apartment blocks”, hundreds of feet in each direction from the crash site.
Mindon Chief of Firefighting, Bill Kessler, said the helicopter caught fire when the first responders arrived at the scene. He added that the airport fire department was called to the scene to put out the fire.
While there were homes near the crash site, Baxter said no buildings were hit.
Mendon is a city of about 10,000 people in upstate New York, according to United States Census data. It’s just less than 80 miles west of Syracuse.