KABUL, Afghanistan – A U.S.-led coalition Chinook helicopter (search) was destroyed by a fire that broke out after it made a hard landing with 31 coalition troops on board, the U.S. military said Thursday. No one was hurt.
The incident occurred as the massive, twin-rotor chopper was rushing troops to combat terrorists near Spin Boldak, a town close to the border with Pakistan (search), a military statement said.
It said hostile fire was not involved.
"It made a hard landing because it hit the ground hard, due in part because of reduced visibility caused by debris and dust thrown up from the ground by the helicopter's rotors," U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara said. "Because of the force of the landing, a fire ensued, which destroyed the aircraft."
He said the six members of the helicopter crew and 25 coalition troops on board were not injured.
Afghan and coalition forces secured the site and a team of investigators was expected to arrive there Thursday, the statement said.
The accident comes less than a month after a Chinook that had been modified for special forces operations was shot down in eastern Kunar province, also near the border with Pakistan, killing all 16 U.S. forces on board.
In April, 15 U.S. service members and three American civilians were killed when their Chinook went down in a sandstorm while returning to the main U.S. base at Bagram.