US military helicopter crashes near South Korea's border with North

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 April, 2013, 3:53am


A US military helicopter taking part in joint drills with South Korea crashed yesterday near the North Korean border with 21 soldiers on board. All survived.

The US military said the CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter had "executed a hard landing" while on a routine flight operation in Cheolwon county, which touches on the border. The precise cause of the accident was not immediately known, the military said, adding that a "comprehensive investigation" had been ordered.

The five crew members and 16 other soldiers were taken to a US military hospital in Seoul.

Fifteen were later released, while six remained in hospital "in stable condition".

Pictures from the site taken by the Yonhap news agency showed firefighters using foam to douse the burned wreck of the helicopter, which had clearly burst into flames after crash landing.

The helicopter was taking part in an annual South Korea-United States joint military exercise called "Foal Eagle".

The crew of the crashed helicopter belonged to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit stationed in Okinawa, Japan.