GALVESTON, Texas (CN) – Two Texas Army National Guardsmen died Wednesday when their helicopter crashed in Galveston Bay during a training flight.
Witnesses say the soldiers’ AH-64 Apache helicopter broke apart in the air and crashed into the Bay around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Texas Department of Public Safety and local first responders rushed to the scene and divers were sent to recover the bodies.
The soldiers were based at the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, 20 miles southeast of Houston off Interstate 45.
Part of the helicopter’s blade was found onshore near the crash site, the Associated Press reported.
“It is with our deepest regrets that we announce both service members on board the aircraft are deceased. We are working on notifying their next of kin through proper military protocols and cannot release their names at this time,” the Texas Military Department said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with their families.”
Army officials told local media the flight was a normal training mission that soldiers make to keep their skills sharp. They said they don’t know what caused the crash and are investigating.