Recovery of crashed US Army chopper resumes at Florida bay

Reuters , Sunday 15 Mar 2015

The seven U.S. Marines who were killed when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed into the Santa Rosa Sound off the Florida panhandle on Tuesday night are seen in a combination photo of US Marine handout images released March 13, 2015. (Photo:Reuters)

Operations resumed on Saturday to recover the wreckage of a US Army helicopter that crashed in a Florida bay, killing 11 military personnel, a spokesman said.

Recovery crews are focused on finding human remains from the Tuesday night crash of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter into the Florida Panhandle's Santa Rosa Sound, Eglin Air Force Base spokesman Andy Bourland said in a statement.

"We will continue our recovery efforts as needed to ensure we collect as many human remains as possible," he said. Initial recovery operations were expected to conclude late on Saturday.

The biggest sections of the helicopter have been pulled from the water, Bourland said. They are being collected for transfer to Eglin's Hurlburt Field for review by investigators.

The recovery began on Friday but was suspended on Friday night because of weather, the statement said.

The helicopter carrying seven Marines and four Louisiana National Guard soldiers went down in foggy conditions during a nighttime training exercise. The cause of the crash has not been determined.

The Louisiana National Guard has said that the bodies of two of the soldiers have been recovered, with the other two believed to be in the helicopter wreckage.

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