2 U.S. soldiers killed in California chopper crash

A chopper upon lift off

Two U.S. soldiers were killed and three others injured in a helicopter crash during a training exercise late Thursday in Southern California, U.S. media reported on Friday, citing military officials.

The Blackhawk helicopter crash occurred on San Clemente Island, about 70 miles (around 112 km) west of San Diego, a U.S. Defense Department official with knowledge of the incident told a local news outlet, the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The soldiers involved in the incident were assigned to an element of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command and were conducting routine training, the local daily newspaper in San Diego reported, citing a statement from the U.S. Army.

“We are still in the process of making next of kin notifications and will not release any additional information until that process is complete,” J. Elise Van Pool, a U.S. Army spokeswoman was quoted as saying by the paper.

Officials said that an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.

It is the second fatal accident during military training exercises in the area in a month. On July 30, nine U.S. troops were killed when their amphibious assault vehicle sank near San Clemente Island.

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