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United Kingdom

US Air Force helicopter crash in England kills four

A US Air Force helicopter has crashed in eastern England during routine training operations. Local police and the Pentagon have said they believe all four crew members died in the crash.

The HH60G Pave Hawk helicopter went down at 6p.m. local time (1800GMT) on Tuesday in marshland on the north Norfolk coast.

A US Air Force spokesman confirmed the crash, while a Pentagon official said the crew were presumed dead.

"Sadly, we believe that at this time all four of the crew are deceased," Superintendent Roger Wilson of the Norfolk Police told reporters. Police were withholding the identities of the victims until the next of kin had been contacted.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. But according to the US Air Force, the Pave Hawk (pictured above during training in France) is equipped with automatic flight control, night vision goggles, forward looking infrared to enhance low-level operations at night and anti-ice features for adverse weather conditions.

A modified version of the Black Hawk helicopter, the Pave Hawk is deployed to rescue downed pilots and stranded soldiers in hostile environments. Sikorsky Aircraft Company, a unit of United Technologies Corporation, manufactures the Pave Hawk.

Police have set up a 400-meter cordon around the crash site, out of concern that the helicopter had live ammunition on board. Local authorities were in contact with the US Air Force to determine what the chopper was carrying. But according to Superintendent Wilson, nobody in the surrounding area was in danger.

slk/jr (AP, Reuters)