All three Minnesota National Guard soldiers were killed when the Black Hawk helicopter they were riding in crashed on Thursday in central Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz confirmed. The identities of the soldiers were not released, pending notification of family.
The crash was being investigated and preliminary information on the crash was not released.
Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, said: “Our Minnesota National Guard family is devastated by the deaths of these soldiers. Our priority right now is ensuring that our families are taken care of.”
The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter carrying three crew members had crashed near Pearl Lake after it lost contact with the base on Thursday afternoon at around 2 p.m. Minnesota National Guard Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens told the St. Cloud Times.
Guard Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens said the Guard lost contact with the helicopter shortly after it took off on a maintenance test flight from St. Cloud. Heusdens said the helicopter called mayday about 9 minutes after takeoff.
The Guard’s base near St. Cloud Regional Airport had been in operation since 2009, with Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters maintained there.