MILITARY

4 soldiers injured in Fort Campbell helicopter crash

A gate to Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

A gate to Fort Campbell in Kentucky.  (REUTERS/Harrison McClary, File)

Four soldiers were injured Tuesday -- including three critically -- after a Blackhawk helicopter crashed and caught fire during training at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

After the crash, the helicopter caught fire before Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services personnel were able to extinguish the blaze, the base said in a press release. Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team were near the training area and were able to help in the extraction of the four soldiers from the aircraft.

The soldiers onboard the UH60 Blackhawk helicopter were rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Fox 17 reported.

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokeswoman Tavia Smith told The Leaf-Chronicle that two soldiers were airlifted to the trauma unit of the Nashville hospital, while another solider was airlifted to Vanderbilt's trauma center. The fourth soldier was taken by ambulance to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, according to Smith.

The identities of the victims have not been released and it was not immediately clear what triggered the crash.

The incident – which happened around 11 a.m. local time – was under investigation. The helicopter was from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

"Our priority is to provide the best medical care available to the Soldiers and support services to their Families," said Maj. Gen. Andrew P. Poppas, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell commanding general in a statement. "Their care and well-being is of our utmost concern."

This marked the second reported crash involving U.S. military aircraft outside of combat this year. A Navy jet crashed during training at Naval Air Station Meridian in Mississippi two weeks ago, but the student and instructor pilot were able to eject safely. Last year saw 18 non-combat crashes involving U.S. military aircraft, roughly on par with the previous two years.

Tuesday's crash was the first during training at Fort Campbell since December 2015, when an AH-64 Apache crashed in a field, killing the two pilots.

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Fox News' Leonard Balducci and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.