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U.S. helicopter crash in Afghanistan kills 4 troops (Updated)

Four U.S. Service Members Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash

Stars and Stripes reports the soldiers on board the Black Hawk helicopter that crashed last Thursday were with 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Hammerhead out of Hawaii, flying for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in Afghanistan.

Those killed were: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nicholas Johnson, 27, San Diego; Spc. Dean Shaffer, 23, Pekin, Ill.; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don Viray, 25, Waipahu, Hawaii; and Spc. Chris Workman, 33, Boise, Idaho. ~KOHN 2

The family of recent Pekin high school graduate Dean Shaffer has been notified that he was killed Thursday night in a military helicopter crash in southwestern Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. Army, a close friend of Shaffer said Friday. ~Perkins Daily Times

Chris Workman was among four soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan Thursday. ~Idaho Statesman

Karen Parrish – (American Forces Press Service) – WASHINGTON, April 20, 2012 – Defense Department officials said today the four International Security Assistance Force members killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan yesterday were Americans.

“Regrettably, we can confirm that four U.S. service members lost their lives in this crash,” George Little, acting assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, told Pentagon reporters today.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby, who returned this week from approximately two months’ duty in Afghanistan, said no information is yet available on the mission the helicopter crew was performing.

“We still believe that weather was the principal cause [of the accident],” Kirby said.

He added that as with all such incidents, the crash remains under investigation until all possible details are determined.

“They’re going to look at all factors, but right now it appears that weather was the principal cause,” Kirby said.

He said defense officials are not aware of any enemy fire reported in the area where the crash took place. (Click HERE for original article)

(Associated Press) –  April 19, 2012  -   A U.S. Army helicopter crashed on a nighttime mission in southwestern Afghanistan on Thursday, and initial reports from the scene indicated that as many as four soldiers may have been killed, a U.S. defense official said.

In a brief official announcement, the American military command in Kabul said there were “no confirmed reports” of casualties “at this time.” The announcement did not specify the nationality of the helicopter crew and said the cause of the crash was unknown.

Two U.S. defense officials said four U.S. troops were aboard the helicopter, identified as an Army Black Hawk, and one official said initial word from the scene was that officials “don’t expect” that any of the four survived. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because details were still being collected and the families of the helicopter crew had not yet been notified. Unspecified weather difficulties may have played a role in the crash, the two officials said, but it also was possible that enemy action was factor.

Last year, a military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan, killing 38 U.S. and Afghan troops, including 17 who were part of the Navy SEALs unit that killed Osama bin Laden. More recently, a January helicopter accident killed six members of the international military force in Afghanistan.  (Click HERE for article)