Two members of the Tennessee National Guard were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed Wednesday afternoon near Huntsville, Alabama, during a routine training mission, the agency said.
The crash occurred at about 3 p.m. local time directly off Highway 53 in Madison County, and the helicopter burned upon impact, Huntsville Emergency Medical Services told CBS News. Cell phone video showed a plume of black smoke rising hundreds of feet into the air on the side of the highway.
The crash site was located about 10 miles northwest of Huntsville.
The deceased guardsmen were the only two people aboard the helicopter, the Tennessee National Guard said in a statement, and no one on the ground was injured by the crash. The names of the two victims were not immediately released.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of two Tennessee National Guardsmen, and our prayers are with their families during this heartbreaking tragedy," Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee's adjutant general, said in a statement. "We ask Tennesseans to join us in supporting their families during this time of unthinkable grief."
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.
— David Martin contributed to this report.
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