U.S. Helicopter Crash Kills 5 In Italy

Italian police officers stand by the charred remains of a UH-60 Black Hawk U.S. Army helicopter that crashed in the countryside outside of Treviso, in the uninhabited area of St. Lucia di Piave, northern Italy, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007.
AP Photo/Walter Parisotto
A U.S. Army helicopter crashed in northern Italy on Thursday, killing at least five people on board, the Army said.

Eleven U.S. service members were on board the UH-60 Army Black Hawk helicopter, U.S. Army Europe said in a statement released by its headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.

Four bodies were pulled from the wreckage of the UH-60 Blackhawk Army chopper, which went down near Treviso, and another six people on board were injured and sent to area hospitals, said Luca Cari, a spokesman for the national fire department.

The U.S. Army said one of the injured people later died.

Television footage showed the charred remains of the chopper, which broke into at least two pieces, smoldering in a swampy field.

The Black Hawk helicopter which crashed was part of Company G of 52nd Aviation Regiment of U.S. Army, reports CBS News correspondent Sabina Castelfranco.

A spokesman at the U.S. Air Force base in Aviano, near Venice, Senior Airman Justin Weaver, said the chopper involved had taken off from Aviano.

He said the Blackhawk crashed in the countryside outside of Treviso, in the uninhabited area of St. Lucia di Piave. The location is about 25 miles southwest of Aviano, which in turn is about 70 miles northeast of Venice.

Television footage showed the charred remains of the chopper, which broke into at least two large pieces, smoldering in a swampy field.

The UH-60 Blackhawk is the Army's general utility helicopter - used for transporting troops and equipment, air assault, medical evacuations and to support special operations as well as other missions.

An entire 11-person, fully equipped infantry squad can be lifted in a single Blackhawk, according to the Army web site, which says the helicopter has a crew of four.

CBS News has learned that the Black Hawk did take off from Aviano but is not based there.

The statement said that the names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of their families, and that the cause of the crash was not immediately known.