Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Helicopter crash kills seven US soldiers in Iraq

The CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in southern Iraq, in what appears to have been an accident.

BAGHDAD // Seven American soldiers were killed in southern Iraq early today when their helicopter crashed as it was flying into the country from Kuwait, the US military said. The CH-47 Chinook helicopter did not come under attack, and the crash was an accident, a statement said. "At this time we are uncertain of the cause, but hostile fire has been ruled out," a military spokesman, Major John Hall said.

"The other three helicopters in the flight did not have incident or injury." The four-helicopter convoy was flying from Kuwait to the US military base at Balad north of Baghdad when the crash occurred shortly after midnight, in the desert about 100km west of Basra. The military said the seven who died were the only people on board. The Chinook, the Army's workhorse, is designed to transport troops and supplies to combat and other regions. The accident occurred in an area of Iraq that is under British military control, and a British quick reaction force and road convoy were dispatched to help American officials at the site.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is under way. It was the deadliest helicopter accident for US troops since Aug 22 2007, when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in northern Iraq, killing all 14 US soldiers aboard. The last accident that took this many lives was on Sept 10 2007, when seven American soldiers were killed in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad. "It is a tough day for the coalition and we are deeply saddened by the loss of our soldiers," said Col Bill Buckner, another military spokesman.

"Our prayers and condolences go out to the families during this difficult and tragic incident." The US military did not release the names of those killed pending notification of next of kin. Since the 2003 US-led war in Iraq, 4,168 members of the US military have been killed, according to one report.

Deadly violence continued in Iraq today. An explosives-laden car parked at a bus station in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah killed two people and wounded one, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Nasiriyah is about 320km south-east of Baghdad. * AP

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National