Three US Army soldier died Friday, a fourth was
injured, when the UH-60 they were aboard crashed near the Iraqi
city of Samarra. It was one of two Blackhawks sent to rescue a
child who had been wounded while playing with unexploded ordnance
he found lying around.
The two Blackhawks landed on the banks of the Tigris River. The
child, who had suffered major head wounds, was loaded into the
first UH-60. Military officials said it launched from the scene
However, the second Blackhawk, which took off just after the
first, apparently snagged a telephone or power line, became
inverted and crashed into the Tigris. The first Blackhawk turned
right around and landed again, rescuing the sole survivor after the
fatally damaged AH-60 sank. Both he and the wounded child were
rushed to a field hospital for treatment.
Seven In Six Months
three soldiers who died when the Blackhawk crashed into the Tigris
bring to 146 the number of US troops killed in Iraq since
operations began. Friday's incident brings to at least seven the
number of Blackhawks that have been damaged or destroyed in the
past six months. On April 2, an UH-60 was shot down near Karbala.
Six soldiers died in that incident. In March, a Blackhawk crash in
a densely wooded area near Fort Drum (NY), killing 11 of the 13
soldiers on board.