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November 3, 2001
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US helicopter crashes in Afghanistan; crew safe

After twenty-seven days of air strikes, the US lost its first military aircraft, when a helicopter crash-landed in Afghanistan on Friday due to severe weather, injuring four crewmembers, the Pentagon said in a media briefing.

Though the crew was rescued, US rescue forces destroyed the badly damaged helicopter to prevent it from falling it into the Taleban hands.

A Pentagon spokesman said the crash-landing occurred at 1830 GMT, and repeatedly claimed the crash was due to severe weather, and not hostile fire.

"The landing severely damaged the helicopter," he said.

"Four members of the crew were injured, none life-threatening. The entire crew has been safely recovered out of Afghanistan and the four injured service members are now receiving medical care," he added.

"F-14 Tomcats from the USS Theodore Roosevelt have destroyed the damaged helicopter," he added.

The aircraft's mission was not disclosed, nor would the spokesman say where in Afghanistan it went down.

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