U.S. military helicopter crashes in South Korea, killing 2

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Two American pilots have been killed after a military helicopter crashed near the city of Wonju in South Korea, officials say.

The accident happened at about 6:30 p.m. local time on Monday when the AH-64 Apache helicopter went down on a road near Wonju, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Camp Humphreys. Two people, both pilots, were on board the aircraft and died in the crash. There were no casualties on the ground.

The aircraft was with the 2nd Infantry Division, Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Division, according to U.S. Forces Korea..

“We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of the Soldiers involved in this tragic incident,” said Lt. Col. Mark Gillespie, the deputy commander of the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade. “Our first priority is to provide their families with the support they need during this difficult time.”

The South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the aircraft had crashed on a road about 500 meters (546 yards) away from a village and was completely destroyed. “I went out after hearing a ‘bang’ sound twice and saw flames rising into the sky from the side of the road,” one resident was quoted as saying.

It was not immediately known what caused Monday’s accident, which occurred during a routine training mission. The identities of the pilots have not yet been released pending next of kin notification.

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