A US Army Black Hawk helicopter with three people aboard crashed Monday on a Maryland golf course, killing one crew member and seriously injuring two more, officials said.
The chopper from Fort Belvoir, in Fairfax County, Va., went down at the Breton Bay Golf and Country Club near Leonardtown, about 40 miles southeast of Washington, DC, officials said.
“A Fort Belvoir UH-60 Helicopter, with 3 crew members on board, had a hard landing at approximately 1:50 p.m. near Leonardtown, MD. One of the crew members was medically evacuated from the scene,” the Army installation said on its Facebook page.
The Army has not yet identified the crew members, only saying that one was killed and two others seriously wounded. Those individuals are being treated at the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
The the military frequently describes such incidents as “hard landings” — even when the aircraft is destroyed, AFP reported.
WJLA posted a video of the smoldering wreckage surrounded by rescuers. Two people were seen assisting what appeared to be an injured crew member.
A pair of police medevac helicopters were sent to the scene.
Several people reportedly witnessed the crash.
Elizabeth Willing told TheBayNet.com that she and her friend Kat McCurdy were kayaking in Breton Bay at the time.
“We saw three helicopters. One of them was lagging behind the other two. It started spinning. At first we thought it was doing tricks,” she told the site. “It disappeared behind the tree line and then we heard a big bang.”
A golf pro at Breton Bay said the helicopter “was kind of flying sideways, pretty low.”
“And then as we got out on the deck watching it, he got treetop level and all of a sudden we saw the tail spin up and just spinning around and we heard him go down,” Mike Harvey told WBAL News Radio 1090 AM.
“You could just hear the rotors hitting trees….