Multiple people are feared to have died in a collision between two US Army Black Hawk helicopters during a routine training exercise in Kentucky.
The base, situated on the state’s border with Tennessee, 60 miles north west of Nashville, is home to the 101st Airborne Regiment and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
‘Two helicopters came over pretty low, and all of a sudden – as soon as they got over the house – something popped, a loud bang. And everything shut down all of a sudden,’ one local man told WKDZ Radio.
‘So we jumped in the truck and got over here, and that’s what we found – two helicopters.’
The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
The two helicopters are believed to have crashed shortly before 10pm on Wednesday. Local media said multiple people are feared dead
Andy Beshear, the governor of Kentucky, said there was ‘tough news out of Fort Campbell’.
James Hughes, the jailer for Trigg County, told the radio station he lives about a half mile away and heard what he believed to be a collision.
Nondice Thurman, a spokesman for Fort Campbell, confirmed the crashes happened before 10pm on Wednesday in Trigg County, near Highway 68.
The aircraft were two Blackhawk helicopters being operated by the 101st Airborne Division – the U.S. Army’s sole air assault division nicknamed the ‘Screaming Eagles’.
Crewmembers were flying the aircraft during a routine training mission when an ‘incident’ occurred.
The East Golden Pond Fire Department arrived at the scene to extinguish the burning flames from the helicopter debris.
A U.S. Army soldier at the scene confirmed to WKDZ Radio there were ‘multiple deaths’.
The station reported that Trigg County Coroner, John Mark Vinson, had been called to the scene.
Officials from Fort Campbell arrived at the scene around an hour after the crash to carry out their investigation into the incident.
It is also expected that representatives from the U.S. military’s Safety Investigation Team, from the Combat Readiness Centre, in Fort Rucker, Alabama, will arrive at Fort Campbell to investigate the crash.
Locals told WKDZ Radio that they had heard helicopters flying over the area for the past few evenings.
Weather conditions at the time were reported to be clear with light to no wind.
‘The command is currently focused on caring for the service members and their families,’ the base said in a statement.
WKDZ, a local news station, pictured emergency responders putting out a fire
Local news station WKDZ said that the picture shows wreckage from one of the helicopters
A Black Hawk helicopter is seen in action in Townsville, Australia, July 2016
Fort Campbell is the home of the Screaming Eagles, the U.S. Army’s one and only Air Assault Division
In July, a $5 million helicopter training facility, unique in the nation, was opened at the site, featuring a sea vessel flight deck used ‘to facilitate safe and realistic training for aircrews and ground operators prior to operating in a harsh over-water environment,’ the Army said.
In February this year, a UH-60 Alpha-model Black Hawk helicopter flew for the first time entirely unmanned, controlled from Fort Campbell.
The cause of Wednesday evening’s crash is currently under investigation.
The 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army was established in August 1942. It is the only air assault division of its kind.
The group is renowned for military professionalism and ability to execute combat and contingency missions across the world.
It is also known for its mettle: ‘tomorrow’s division in today’s Army’.
Developing news story, check back for updates…