Military chopper goes down near W.Va., Va. border - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Military chopper crash passengers treated at W.Va., Va. hospitals

Posted:

3:09 P.M. Friday

Bluefield, W.Va. (WVVA) – Several local authorities, including the West Virginia National Guard, and those from Pocahontas and Randolph Counties responded to the scene of the downed Navy helicopter Thursday afternoon.

Rescue efforts took numerous man hours to reach the 17 crew members stranded near Snowshoe Mountain Ski resort. Rescuers arrived on the scene just after 12 a.m. Friday morning.

A press release from the West Virginia National Guard explains West Virginia National Guard Emergency Operations personnel were allowed to set up a Joint Operations Center as well as permitted use of the runway at the National Radio and Astronomy Observatory in Greenbank, W.Va.

Fire and rescue crews from the Shavers Fork Fire and the Bartow, Frank, Durbin, Volunteer Fire Departments worked together in clearing roads to allow faster access to the crash scene of the sailors and soldiers.

Due to the severe weather in the area of the crash, Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort personnel offered snowcats and snowmobiles for rescuers to use in evacuating all stranded victims.

The West Virginia National Guard was quick in expressing gratitude to all who aided the rescue saying, "Without the generosity, assistance and efforts of these agencies and their staffs, the swift and successful rescue of the injured would not have been possible."

Authorities are not yet speculating on what may have caused the crash.

1:56 P.M. Friday

Bluefield, W.Va. (WVVA) – National Guard Officials have confirmed all 17 passengers involved in the military helicopter crash Thursday afternoon have been evacuated and are now being treated at hospitals in Virginia and West Virginia.

Officials say the injured passengers are being treated at hospitals in Elkins, W.Va. and Charlottesville, Va. for further evaluation and treatment. Navy officials announced early Friday morning that no one had suffered life threatening injuries.

Thirteen of the 17 crew members on board the aircraft were transported to Elkins, while the remaining four were taken to Charlottesville.

Authorities are not yet releasing the names of those involved, and say the investigation into what cause the crash is ongoing.

10.52 A.M. Friday

Bluefield, W.Va. (WVVA) - Navy officials have confirmed everyone who was on the helicopter that crashed Thursday afternoon has been evacuated.

According to Navy spokesman Mike Maus, none of the 17 members on board the downed aircraft suffered life threatening injuries.

The Navy is not releasing the names of those involved in the crash.

8:20 A.M. Friday

Bluefield, W.Va. (WVVA) – The military has released few details concerning the crash landing of a Navy helicopter in a remote area of West Virginia.

National Guard crews located the downed MH-60S "Knighthawk" just after 7 p.m. Thursday; however; the treacherous terrain, freezing temperatures, and lack of sunlight delayed the rescue effort considerably.

According to a press release from the National Guard, rescue crews reached the site of the helicopter crash in Pocahontas County around 12:10 a.m.

According to West Virginia National Guard Lt. Col. Mike Cadle, 17 people were aboard the aircraft, but how many were injured and the extent of their injuries was not released.

The flight crew, consisting of 14 Navy and 3 W.Va. National Guard members, was stranded when the Knighthawk helicopter they were in had to make a forced landing Thursday afternoon.

The chopper is based at the Naval Station Norfolk, Va. and was in route from Fort Pickett in Va. to Camp Dawson near Kingwood, W.Va.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

1:10 A.M. Friday

Bluefield, W.Va. (WVVA) - According to a press release from the National Guard, rescue crews reached the site of the helicopter crash in Pocahontas County around 12:10 a.m.

Rescue and medical crews are assessing injuries and determining how to safely get all of the passengers out of the remote region.

17 people were stranded, 14 Navy and 3 W.Va. National Guard members, when the Knighthawk helicopter they were in had to make a forced landing Thursday afternoon.

Still no word on the extent of injuries.

4:59 P.M. Thursday

Bluefield, W.Va. (WVVA) – The Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters has confirmed a military helicopter has crashed near the West Virginia, Virginia border.

The aircraft reportedly went down between Cass and Durbin in Pocahontas County, W.Va. in a field approximately 30 miles outside of Lewisburg around 3:30 p.m.

Sources say the aircraft was a Navy Helicopter carrying 17 passengers.

Injuries are not known at this time. A second military chopper has been sent to the scene to aid those involved.

A staging area is being established at the Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg, W.Va.

WVVA has a crew in route to the scene and will bring details as they are released.

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