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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 February, 2004, 07:37 GMT
Black Hawk crashes in Australia
Black Hawk helicopter over Sydney
The Black Hawk is a multi-purpose helicopter
An Australian military Black Hawk helicopter crashed on Thursday near an air force base in eastern Australia, injuring at least five people.

Queensland state police said the accident happened near Mount Walker, near Brisbane at about 1100 (0000 GMT).

A mayday call was received before the crash, police said.

Eighteen Australian soldiers were killed in 1996 when two Black Hawks collided during a night training exercise in Queensland.

'Mess'

The helicopter was about 20km (12 miles) south-west of Amberley air force base when it crashed. It had taken off from an army base in nearby Toowoomba for a routine training flight, said Defence Force spokesman Dan Wheelahan.

The spokesman did not know how many people were on board.

Emergency services described the crash site as a "mess".

"We were all wondering how anyone got out of it alive," Brian Nash of Queensland Ambulance Service said.

The Black Hawk is a combat helicopter, designed to move quickly into hostile environments and deliver or collect troops and armaments.

The basic model of the helicopter can also be adapted for medical evacuation or a purely offensive combat role. They can carry up to 12 people plus four crewmembers.


SEE ALSO:
Fact file: Black Hawk
11 Dec 02  |  Americas



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