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Two soldiers killed in Louisiana copter crash

From Mike Mount

FORT POLK, Louisiana (CNN) -- Two U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, were killed Tuesday night when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise, Army officials said Wednesday.

The pilot and co-pilot of an OH-58D Kiowa helicopter were killed about 7:30 p.m. CDT in a training area at Fort Polk, which is about 30 miles from the Texas border in western central Louisiana.

The cause of the accident is not known.

"Our hearts go out to the families of these soldiers," said Brig. Gen. Jason K. Kamiya, commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, in a written statement.

The names of the pilot and co-pilot are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Army officials said the two-member helicopter crew was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment -- a Fort Polk unit participating in the exercise.

The Army Safety Center will investigate the accident, according to an Army statement.

The helicopter is a single-engine observation or scout aircraft the military uses primarily for reconnaissance missions.

Fort Polk is home to the Joint Readiness Training Center, where Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine units train together in simulated battle situations.




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