American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2002
Twelve U.S. service members are feared dead in the crash of a CH-47
helicopter in the Philippines.
The Army chopper crashed into the sea while flying from Basilan Island to
Mactan Air Base. The crash occurred approximately 120 miles north-northeast
of the city of Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao.
There was no sign of hostile fire. The helicopter crashed at 2:30 a.m. Feb.
22 local time, approximately 30 minutes after it took off. The U.S. service
members are in the Philippines in support of the U.S. effort to train and
advise Philippine forces in their efforts against global terrorism, U.S.
Pacific Command officials in Hawaii said.
Another CH-47 that was flying with the chopper immediately searched the area
for survivors. Other U.S. aircraft are assisting in the search. Philippine
embassy officials said their forces are also searching for survivors.
Identification of the U.S. service members has not been released pending
notification of next of kin