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  • 31 US Marines Killed in Chopper Crash

    BAGHDAD, Iraq A U.S. Marine helicopter transporting troops crashed Wednesday in the desert of western Iraq, killing as many as 31 people, American military officials said.
    Details about the crash are sketchy and military officials cautioned that the final death toll may be lower. If the number holds, it would be the deadliest single incident involving U.S. troops in Iraq (search).

    A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, placed the death toll at 31. The official said the helicopter was flying in bad weather but was unable to provide information as to what brought down the aircraft.

    A Pentagon source said earlier that the helicopter was a CH-53 Sea Stallion (search), which is normally configured to carry 37 passengers, but can take up to 55. There was no immediate word on how many people were on board.

    The helicopter went down about 1:20 a.m. near the town of Rutbah, about 220 miles west of Baghdad, while conducting security operations, the military said in a statement. The aircraft was transporting personnel from the 1st Marine Division (search).

    A search and rescue team has reached the site and an investigation into what caused the crash is underway, the military said.

    The U.S. military has lost at least 33 helicopters since the March 2003 start of the Iraq conflict, according to a study by the Brookings Institution (search). At least 20 of them were brought down by hostile fire, the institution said.

    The deadliest single incident involving U.S. troops until Wednesday took place on Nov. 15, 2003, when two Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul after colliding while trying to avoid ground fire, killing 17 U.S. soldiers and wounding five.

    Earlier that same month, on Nov. 2, 2003, a Chinook transport helicopter was shot down by shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile near Fallujah, killing 16 American soldiers and wounding 26.

    Last month, a suicide bomb exploded at a mess tent in a base near Mosul, killing 22 people including 14 U.S. soldiers and three American contractors.

    President Bush on Wednesday expressed sorrow at the loss of U.S. Marines in the crash.

    He said he didn't have details. "I know that it's being investigated by the Defense Department. Obviously, any time we lose life, it is a sad moment," he said.

    Asked about reports that the crash may have been weather-related, Bush said, "I've heard rumors, but let's wait for the facts."

    Earlier, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, "We are saddened anytime there is loss of life of our troops in harm's way."
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  • #2
    Bump...
    Fly Raleigh-Durham International, with direct flights on Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, American Eagle, America West, Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, jetBlue, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Express and US Airways to:

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    • #3
      Why aren't the people who so actively supported the Iraq operation on this forum also acknowledging the loss of their fellow countrymen?

      What a terrible loss.
      YBBN - James

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      • #4

        Why aren't the people who so actively supported the Iraq operation on this forum also acknowledging the loss of their fellow countrymen?
        Well, I support the Iraq operation and I was the first to acknowledge the loss on this board. As for the others, your guess is as good as mine. I would think that an aircraft accident that killed 31 Americans would register with some of the other Americans on this board...?
        Fly Raleigh-Durham International, with direct flights on Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, American Eagle, America West, Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, jetBlue, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Express and US Airways to:

        ATL, AUS, BWI, BOS, CHS, CLT, MDW, ORD, CVG, CLE, DFW, DTW, FLL, BDL, HOU, IND, LAS, LAX, LGW, MEM, MIA, MSP, BNA, EWR, MSY, JFK, LGA, ORF, MCO, PHL, PHX, PIT, STL, SLC, TPA, YYZ, DCA and IAD.

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        • #5
          All from Pendelton too...what a shame...

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          • #6
            Wrong Forum *sigh*

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            • #7
              Originally posted by c72
              Wrong Forum *sigh*
              Steve G...layin tha smackdown...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by YBBN
                Why aren't the people who so actively supported the Iraq operation on this forum also acknowledging the loss of their fellow countrymen?
                Oh I don't know. Maybe they just haven't been on the forum today or aren't where they can even get on the Internet.

                All of these men died for our freedom and to keep the U.S. safe. Most Americans know this and mourn their loss.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Leftseat86
                  Steve G...layin tha smackdown...
                  Yup moved it here where it belongs.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by B757300

                    All of these men died for our freedom and to keep the U.S. safe. Most Americans know this and mourn their loss.

                    I feel so safe...I think I'll leave my doors unlocked tonight...

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                    • #11
                      Wrong forum? It was aviation related....

                      Oh well, moderator always knows best...
                      Fly Raleigh-Durham International, with direct flights on Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, American Eagle, America West, Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, jetBlue, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Express and US Airways to:

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Leftseat86
                        I feel so safe...I think I'll leave my doors unlocked tonight...
                        I think there is a major difference between soldiers and cops. Soldiers don't pull you over for running a stop sign, and cops don't carry M-16s (well, maybe the LA cops do).
                        Fly Raleigh-Durham International, with direct flights on Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, American Eagle, America West, Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, jetBlue, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Express and US Airways to:

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leftseat86
                          I feel so safe...I think I'll leave my doors unlocked tonight...
                          Thank you for confirming the old saying "It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by B757300
                            Thank you for confirming the old saying "It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
                            Any time man...

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                            • #15
                              And to think... if only...

                              nevermind. not worth it.
                              My Jetphotos.net Images

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