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Six soldiers killed in Army helicopter crash in Hawaii

Two U.S. Army UH-60 helicopters like this one were involved in the fatal crash  

KAHUKU, Hawaii (CNN) -- Six soldiers were killed when two Army helicopters crashed during a nighttime exercise at the Kahuku training area in Hawaii.

There were 17 soldiers onboard the two helicopters, said Capt. Stacy Bathrick, a public affairs officer with the 25th Infantry Division, based at Schofield Barracks.

Seven soldiers were injured and four were unhurt in the accident. All were taken to local hospitals for observation or treatment, and Army officials said all were in stable condition or better.

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Army officials said the crash happened at 7:40 p.m. local time.

The two UH60 Black Hawk helicopters were taking part in an annual exercise called "Lightning Thrust Warrior" in preparation for further training to be held in Fort Polk, Louisiana.

The exercise began on February 5 and was to end on February 16. The helicopters were performing air assault operations at the time of the crash.

The "Lightning Thrust Warrior" exercise involves a mock battle where troops are transported from one site to another.

According to Army officials, the entire exercise involves about 4,000 troops.

The injured were evacuated to local hospitals, said Maj. John Cornelio of the 25th Infantry Division.

Thirty helicopters were involved in ferrying nearly 1,000 soldiers from Wheeler Army Airfield to a base in Kahuku, according to an earlier Army advisory warning of possible noise disturbing residents.

The exercise was unrelated to the ongoing search for survivors from a Japanese trawler that sank after it was struck by a U.S. Navy submarine in waters off Hawaii last week.

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U.S. Army
25th Infantry Division (Light) & U.S. Army Hawaii
  • Press Release: Lightning Thrust Warrior Begins
25th Infantry Division Association: Tropic Lightning
Wheeler Army Airfield Chapel
Honolulu Fire Department

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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