UK & World News

  • 9 January 2014, 3:59

US Navy Helicopter Crash: Two Crewmen Killed

Two crew members have died after a US Navy helicopter crashed in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia.

They are among four who were rescued from the cold waters - but lost their lives in hospital several hours later.

A fifth crew member remains missing after an MH-53E was forced to carry out an emergency landing about 20 miles east of Virginia Beach.

Petty Officer David Weydert said ocean temperatures were 6C (42F).

The remaining rescued personnel are in a stable condition, the Navy said.

The Navy said the identity of the dead crew members would be released 24 hours after their families are notified.

The Coast Guard sent two vessels to aid in the search and rescue operation for the fifth crew member.

The Navy said the crew were wearing survival suits designed to keep water away from the body.

According to the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association, an adult can survive one to three hours in 4C to 10C (40 to 50F) water and would become exhausted or unconscious between 30 and 60 minutes.

"Today has definitely been a tough day on all of us," said Captain Todd Flannery, the commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic.

"Our heartfelt prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured in today's crash."

The Navy said the helicopter was conducting a routine training mission when it went down.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The crash is the second deadly US military helicopter accident in as many days.

Four crew members were killed when their Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in Norfolk, England, during a training mission on Tuesday.

The helicopter was taking part in a low-flying exercise when it came down in Cley Next the Sea.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.