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Military helicopter crash kills 3 in training exercise in Monroe County

The craft, a UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter, crashed around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Mendon, a rural town south of Rochester.

MENDON, N.Y. — Three National Guard members on a routine training flight have been killed in a helicopter crash in a western New York town.

The craft, a UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter, crashed around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Mendon, New York, a rural town south of Rochester.

Eric Durr, public affairs director of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, says it flew out of the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport and that it was assigned to C Company of the 1st Battalion, 171st General Support Aviation Battalion.

The circumstances were under investigation.

Monroe County officials say the remains of the troops were recovered from the rural crash site on Thursday. There were no survivors.

Army aviation safety investigators are expected to arrive at the scene by early Friday. The helicopter flew out of the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport. The names of the victims have not been released.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's said he has directed flags on all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff on Thursday.

"I am devastated by the news tonight of a New York Army National Guard helicopter crash in the Town of Mendon that killed three of New York's bravest during a training mission," he said in a statement.

"National Guard members are our citizen soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect both here and abroad, and I extend prayers and condolences from all New Yorkers to the family, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honorable heroes who we will never forget.

"I am directing that flags on all State buildings be lowered to half-staff tomorrow in honor of and in tribute to these New Yorkers who dedicated their service to nation and state."

Senator Chuck Schumer released a statement late Wednesday night regarding the helicopter crash:

"I am heartbroken by the news that three of New York's brave Army National Guardsmen have been killed in a helicopter crash during a training mission. These National Guard members answered the call to help and serve their fellow New Yorkers and their country, and their sacrifices will never be forgotten. I send my deepest condolences to the loved ones of those soldiers killed, and the entire Monroe County community.

New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt also issued a statement Wednesday night:

"The men and women of our armed forces risk their lives every day, and some even make the ultimate sacrifice serving our country," he said. "Whether serving overseas or at home, what they do is extremely dangerous and puts our nation’s needs before the needs of oneself.

"Tonight’s news of a crash involving a New York Army National Guard aircraft and the loss of three soldiers’ lives is a sober reminder of the dangers that come with service. We pray for those who have perished, and our thoughts are with the loved ones they leave behind."

Congressman Chris Jacobs' statement read:

"I am deeply saddened by the news of the National Guard helicopter crash in Mendon this evening that resulted in the loss of three lives. My prayers are with the loved ones of these service members lost. I am closely monitoring the situation as details emerge, and stand ready to provide assistance in any way I can."