Four members of the Colombian military lost their lives Sunday when their Blackhawk helicopter crashed in the central state of Meta.
Preliminary reports say the United States-made UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed when its rotor blade collided with a tree top while supporting Colombian military forces in a mountainous area of the Mesetas municipality.
However, the Colombian military officially stated in a press release Monday that it was sending an “investigative commission of accidents for the Aviation Air Assault Division to determine the cause of the accident.”
The deceased soldiers were supporting other Colombian military forces in preparation for operations against FARC rebel members in the area when their aircraft crashed, reported national media.
The crash is being treated as an accident, but another recent helicopter crash, also declared an accident during preliminary investigations, was later revealed to have been the result of the FARC, Colombia’s oldest armed group,
The incident sparked some controversy, as someone from within the military’s investigative unit leaked findings to former President and Senate candidate Alvaro Uribe Velez, who published them, painting the early statements as an attempted coverup on the part of the current administration.
In a press release circulated Monday, the military expressed its “gratitude, respect and admiration and our most sincere condolences and affection” to the families of the soldiers who fell in the most recent crash.
Several mid-level officers were killed including a Major, Captain, Corporal and Sargent.
- Comunicado de prensa (Ejercito Nacional de Colombia)
- Cuatro militares muertos deja accidente de helicóptero en el Meta (El Pais)
- A cuatro sube cifra de militares muertos por accidente de helicóptero en el Meta (RCN Radio)