Two people were killed after a Black Hawk helicopter of the Tennessee National Guard crashed just north of Huntsville, Alabama.
Don Webster, community relations officer for Huntsville Emergency Medical Services (HEMSI), confirmed to WZDX in Huntsville that the copter went down near an Alabama highway just after 3 p.m. Wednesday.
ABC News reported that the aircraft was identified as a Black Hawk by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. In earlier reports, officials told ABC News that there were determined to be no survivors in the crash. The copter was on a routine training mission.
Newsweek has reached out to HEMSI for further information.
Military personnel of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division ascend in a Black Hawk helicopter during a demonstration drill at the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base near Constanta, Romania, on July 30, 2022. Two people were killed Wednesday after a Black Hawk of the Tennessee National Guard crashed near Huntsville, Alabama.
DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty
According to eyewitnesses of the crash who spoke to ABC News affiliate WAAY, the helicopter sounded almost like a car without a muffler before it was able to be spotted in the sky.
Tammy Adams added in her description to WAAY that she saw it explode once it hit the ground.
“We knew there could not be anybody surviving that,” Adams told the outlet.
Chermonic Johnson, who also witnessed the crash Wednesday, told WAAY that there was “nothing” left behind at the site.
“You can’t even tell it was an aircraft,” Johnson added.
Brent Patterson, spokesperson for Madison County Sheriff’s office, told ABC News that first-responders found the Black Hawk “engulfed in flames,” adding that it was a “total loss.”
The cause of the crash remains unclear and the identities of the individuals on board have not been released.
According to the U.S. Army website, the UH-60 Black Hawk is used as a tactical transport helicopter, weighing 20,000 to 22,000 pounds. The aircraft also provides “air assault, general support, aeromedical evacuation, command and control, and special operations support to combat, stability and support operations.”
Alabama Congressman Dale Strong posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that he was in talks with local and state officials to learn more about the crash, adding that he was “deeply saddened” by the news.
“My heart hurts for those who lost their lives in this tragic incident and for their families as they learn of this news,” Strong added.
In March 2022, a collision between two Black Hawks at an airport in Georgia that killed a U.S. medical officer was under criminal investigation after the Army determined the crash was not an “accident.”
The only fatality in the March wreck, 26-year-old Army Captain James Bellew, was believed to be the lone crew member, according to Army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lindsey Elder.