MENDON, N.Y. — Three soldiers were killed after a military helicopter crashed in upstate New York, authorities said Wednesday.
The helicopter crashed in Mendon at about 6:30 p.m., WROC reported. According to the New York State Division of Military Affairs, the New York Army National Guard UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter, which was based at Rochester International Airport, crashed while on a routine training mission.
Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter flying low to the ground, WROC reported.
Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter told reporters that emergency crews arriving on the scene saw the helicopter on fire in the field, and “went into life-saving mode.”
“This is a heavy heavy burden on all of us,” Baxter said. “We’re waiting for the National Guard for confirmation of who was on board and identification of our great soldiers.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered flags on all state buildings lowered to half-staff Thursday, WROC reported.
“I am devastated by the news tonight of a New York Army National Guard helicopter crash in the Town of Mendon that killed three of New York’s bravest during a training mission,” Cuomo said in a statement. “National Guard members are our citizen-soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect both here and abroad, and I extend prayers and condolences from all New Yorkers to the family, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honorable heroes who we will never forget.
“I am directing that flags on all State buildings be lowered to half-staff tomorrow in honor of and in tribute to these New Yorkers who dedicated their service to nation and state.”
Mendon is located about 20 miles southeast of Rochester.