British police said on Wednesday they would be working with the US Air Force and others to find out why a US military helicopter crashed on the coast of eastern England, killing all four crew on board.
Wreckage included munitions was spread over a wide area of the crash site in difficult terrain. The helicopter, a Pave Hawk assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath air base, was performing a low-level training mission along the Norfolk coast when it went down in marshland on Tuesday evening. The cause of the crash, which occurred in a nature reserve near the village of Cley next the Sea, was not known. The area is about 130 miles (210 km) northeast of London. "We will be working with our partners at the Ministry of Defence, Air Accident Investigation Branch and US Air Force to gather all evidence from the scene and then recover the aircraft," said Chief Superintendent Bob Scully of Norfolk Constabulary, the local police force. "This is difficult terrain with marshland and tides coupled with wreckage containing munitions covering a large area," he said in a statement.
A 400-metre (quarter mile) area around the crash site remained cordoned off to preserve public safety. No one on the ground was thought to have been hurt, authorities said. Earlier, the 48th Fighter Wing, which also flies F-15 fighter jets, confirmed the deaths of all four airmen on board and said their names would be released 24 hours after their next-of-kin had been informed. The Pave Hawk is made by Sikorsky Aircraft Co, a unit of United Technologies Corp
Scully told reporters at Cley next the Sea that debris was scattered across an area about the size of a football field. Most of the debris was in marshland although some of it was vulnerable to high tides and was being removed swiftly.