On Tuesday, a tragic helicopter crash in Colombia’s Chocó department claimed the lives of 4 soldiers and left 3 more injured. The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, registered as EJC 2188, was transporting cargo between military bases when it went down under unknown circumstances.
At 1:02 PM local time, the helicopter “was performing an air movement internal cargo operation to the Binational Military Base Cuti, Unguía, in Chocó” when it crashed, according to a statement from the Colombian National Army.
Immediately after the accident was reported, Army troops were deployed to the crash site to assist. “After the accident was reported, Colombian Army troops went to the area where the aircraft crashed, confirming the death of four military agents,” the statement read.
Tragically, 4 soldiers were killed in the accident:
- Major Karol Felipe García Murillo, pilot in command
- Captain Darío Bernal Toloza, infantry officer
- Lieutenant Jhon Elder Barbosa Cruz, co-pilot
- Vice First Sergeant Javier Elías Reino, crew chief
Survivors Evacuated for Medical Treatment
Fortunately, 3 other soldiers survived the crash:
- First Sergeant Jhonatan del Río, flight technician
- First Corporal Alejandro Gutiérrez Trejos, crew member
- Soldier Galindo Suárez Prada, crew member
The survivors were evacuated from the crash site and taken to a hospital in Apartadó. As of now, their condition is unknown.
Cause Under Investigation
Local authorities are still working to determine the cause of the tragic accident. The UH-60 helicopter was assigned to Colombia’s elite Air Assault Aviation Division, which provides air mobility and transport for counterinsurgency operations.
Reactions and Condolences
Through official statements and social media posts, the Colombian Military Forces expressed condolences to the families of the fallen.
“The men and women of the institution raise a prayer for the eternal rest of our soldiers who unfortunately lost their lives in the plane crash recorded in Chocó. Our thoughts and solidarity with their families and friends. #HonorYGloriaPorSiempre”
The loss of these brave soldiers is a tragedy for Colombia. Further details are expected as the investigation into the cause of the crash continues. The nation mourns the lives cut short and prays for the recovery of those injured in this terrible accident.