Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Helicopter crash kills 17 Spanish troops

16th Aug. 2005: 17 Spanish peacekeepers were killed when a helicopter crashed during training in western Afghanistan. Five soldiers were also wounded when a second Spanish helicopter taking part in the exercise made an emergency landing as the first one plunged to the ground near the main western city of Herat.

The aircraft, a Cougar, came down in the province of Herat, "in a very mountainous region, although the impact occurred on flat ground. It is unclear whether the crash was an accident or the result of a terrorist attack.

Taliban militants in June shot down a US helicopter in eastern Afghanistan, killing all 16 aboard. But western Afghanistan, where the latest crash happened, is regarded as much more peaceful.

Pictured left are 8 of the fatalities: Lt. Javier Hernandez; Sgt. Jose Bernadino; Captain David Fernandez; Briadier Juan Perra; Pvt. Pedro Cabera; Pvt. Diego Blanco; Pvt. Diego Lopez and Pvt. Jose Enriquez.

Another soldier killed in the crash was named as Alfredo Jodar (no photo available).

The soldiers were all members of the 4th Helicopter Battalion and the Light Infantry, 29th Air Mobile Brigade.

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