Tragedy struck on Wednesday when a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed in Huntsville, Alabama, killing all on board, The Western Journal reports.
Two members of the Tennessee National Guard were identified as the victims of the incident, which occurred at approximately 3 p.m. in the vicinity of Highway 53 and Burwell Road.
The Tennessee National Guard released a statement expressing their condolences and urging support for the families of the deceased.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of two Tennessee National Guardsmen, and our prayers are with their families during this heartbreaking tragedy,” said Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee’s adjutant general.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee tweeted a message of condolence and support for the families of the victims. “Please join us in lifting their families up in prayer & support during this time of unspeakable grief,” he wrote.
The cause of the crash has not been determined, and an investigation into the incident is underway.
“It is premature to discuss possible causes of the crash. Like all military aircraft mishaps, the incident will be investigated. The National Guard will support law enforcement and other first responders handling the crash site,” said National Guard representative Robert Carver.
Dramatic footage of the crash shows the helicopter falling from the sky before erupting in flames upon impact.
When first responders arrived on the scene, the helicopter was completely destroyed.
“It was destroyed beyond recognition,” said Don Webster, community relations director of Huntsville Emergency Medical Services.
Witnesses to the incident expressed shock and disbelief at the tragedy.
“I just hollered, ‘My Lord! My God!’ Because nobody could have survived that,” said Tammy Adams, who saw the helicopter fall from the sky.
Another witness, Chermonika Johnson, initially feared that a school bus had been involved in the explosion.
“You couldn’t even tell it was an aircraft. You couldn’t even see anything left of it but debris. There was nothing left at all,” she said.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.