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7 Injured In Military Helicopter Mishap In Arizona

A British Chinook helicopter suffered a "mishap" Saturday during a landing exercise in the Arizona desert, leaving seven people with minor injuries, a military spokeswoman said.

The crew was practicing how to land the aircraft 15 miles northeast of Yuma when "something went wrong," said Michelle Dee, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Facility El Centro in California.

The people aboard the Chinook had non-life-threatening injuries and were sent to the hospital for evaluations as a precaution. Dee said she didn't know how many people were aboard the aircraft or their nationalities.

The helicopter sustained damage but Dee said she didn't know the extent.

The cause of the landing problem was under investigation.

The Chinook was operating out of the naval base in California's Imperial Valley. The facility hosts allied troops throughout the year for training over the California-Arizona border because the area's craggy mountains and hot, dusty conditions are similar to Afghanistan's harsh environment. The clear weather also allows for constant flying.

In February, seven Marines were killed when two helicopters crashed in midair during a routine exercise over the Yuma Training Range Complex.

The Yuma County Sheriff's office didn't immediately return a call for comment.


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