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3 US soldiers killed in Black Hawk crash in Minnesota

A Black Hawk helicopter went down in the US State of Minnesota on Thursday, killing all three soldiers on board, after it lost contact with the Minnesota National Guard during a maintenance test flight, Governor Tim Walz said on Thursday.

According to Press TV, Walz told a news conference the helicopter went down in a farm field near the city of St. Cloud, a city about 59 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis.

The state’s governor said the crash resulted in the death of all three crew.

The identities of the soldiers were not immediately released, pending notification of family.

Television aerial footage showed the wreck of the helicopter along a tree line near open fields. Apparent scorch marks encircled the flattened wreckage in the snow.

The Minnesota National Guard said the helicopter was a UH-60 Black Hawk from the guard’s Army Aviation Safety Facility in St. Cloud.

Stearns County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Miller told reporters that the mayday call came in at about 2:15 p.m. local time. Crews from multiple departments spent several hours searching before finding the crash, Miller said.

The Guard’s base near St. Cloud Regional Airport has been in operation since 2009, with Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters maintained there.

Walz served for 24 years in the Army National Guard, while he was a schoolteacher and coach, but retired in 2005 to run for Congress.