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PHOTOS: Three National Guard members killed as helicopter crashes in New York


No fewer than three US National Guard members have died.

They were killed in a helicopter crash in New York state Wednesday night, according to the state’s Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

The craft, a UH-60 Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopter, crashed around 6:30 p.m. in Mendon, a rural town south of Rochester, officials said.

Authorities said the New York Army National Guard UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter based at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Greater Rochester International Airport crashed while on a routine training mission.

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The helicopter flew out of the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport and was assigned to C Company of the 1st Battalion, 171st General Support Aviation Battalion, according to Eric Durr, public affairs director of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

The crash was reported shortly after 6:30 p.m.

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New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo said he was devastated by the news and was ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff Thursday.

“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,”
 Cuomo said in a statement.

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The state military affairs division confirmed in a statement that the crash is under investigation.