UK & World News
US Helicopter Crashes On North Norfolk Coast
Four crew members have died after a US military helicopter crashed in Norfolk during a training mission.
The Pave Hawk was taking part in a low-flying exercise when it came down in Cley Next the Sea at around 7pm on Tuesday.
The aircraft was carrying ammunition at the time of the crash, and police are investigating if it poses any risk to the public.
A 400-metre cordon has been set up around the site, which was at a nature reserve. Residents were allowed to stay in their homes, although pedestrians and motorists were cleared from the scene.
Norfolk Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Hamlin said: "As our inquiry moves on today and the recovery of the aircraft begins, I would urge the public to stay away from the area.
"The cordon and road closures are in place to allow our experts to carry out these processes safely and there is no risk to members of the public if this section of marshland is avoided."
The helicopter was based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.
The 48th Air Wing of the US Air Force, based at RAF Lakenheath, said: "US military officials are co-ordinating the recovery efforts with the UK police and the Ministry of Defence.
"The aircraft, assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, was performing a low-level training mission along the coast when the crash occurred."
Around a dozen emergency vehicles from the fire brigade, coastguard and police were on the scene.
Cley artist Rachel Lockwood said: "We had never seen so many police cars and fire engines, so went to have a look.
"The beach road to Cley is sealed off. There are lots of fire engines near the Dun Cow pub at Salthouse.
"A helicopter is hovering over the marsh with a light beaming down."
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust said the helicopter crashed on the shingle bank at the Cley Marshes nature reserve.
A spokesman for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said: "We were asked for three lifeboats to respond to reports that an aircraft had possibly ditched in the sea.
"Lifeboats Wells, Sheringham and Cromer were launched at the request of the coastguard, but were stood down when it was confirmed that the aircraft had come down over land."
A derivative of the more famous Black Hawk helicopter, the Pave Hawk gets its name from the PAVE acronym standing for Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment.
They are used for combat search and rescue, mainly to recover downed aircrew or other isolated personnel.
They have a four-man crew and can carry up to 12 troops.
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