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Four dead after helicopter crash at naval base in Hawaii; two Black Hawk copters crash in separate Utah incident
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Four dead after helicopter crash at naval base in Hawaii; two Black Hawk copters crash in separate Utah incident

A helicopter crash at a U.S. naval facility in Hawaii on Tuesday has left four people dead, according to officials. On the same day, two Black Hawk helicopters were involved in a training accident in Utah, but no one there was injured, the Utah National Guard said.

The deadly accident occurred at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, in Kauai, Hawaii, shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday, ABC News reported.

The helicopter was contracted by Croman Corporation, a civilian organization that "provides range support services" to the naval base, a Pacific Missile Range Facility spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson said the helicopter was involved in a range training operation on the base in Kekaha when it crashed on the northern area of the installation.

Emergency personnel were deployed to respond to the crash. The spokesperson said there were four fatalities, all civilian Croman employees.

Investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, are under way to determine the cause of the accident.

"The helicopter was conducting routine training operations under contract to the U.S. Navy," Croman director of operations Brian Beattie said. No further details were available.

In a separate incident, two Utah National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were involved in a training accident Tuesday morning.

The helicopters crashed near a popular ski resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon, about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, NBC News reported.

"We can confirm that two Utah National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters were involved in a training accident at approx. 9:30 a.m. near Mineral Basin. No crew members were injured in the accident. Both UH-60s were damaged. The incident is under investigation," the Utah National Guard tweeted.

Officials said there were no major injuries.

A spokesman with the Utah National Guard told reporters the helicopters were attempting to land during routine survivability and mobility mountain training.

“As they landed, the snow kicked up and the aircraft probably lost sight of the ground," Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jared Jones said. "We know there were portions of the rotor blade that separated from the helicopter and struck the second helicopter."

He added that no fuel leaked.

"It was a blessing that everyone was okay," Jones said during a press conference.

"We are grateful that no one was seriously injured thanks to the quick reaction and training of both command pilots," Maj. Matthew Green, commander of the 2nd Aviation Regiment, said in a statement. "Right now, our top priority is taking care of both crews."

Mineral Basin is the southeast face of Snowbird resort, which features multiple double black diamond-level slopes for experienced skiers and snowboarders.

The Utah National Guard announced Tuesday that all training flights have been canceled until further notice while safety protocols and regulations are reviewed, KSL-TV reported.

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