Army helicopter strikes power lines, causes fire in Grant County

Sep 29, 2023, 5:56 PM | Updated: 11:24 pm

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A police vehicle's lights (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

A military helicopter struck power lines and had to make a hard landing, causing a wildfire in Grant County near the Columbia River near Beverly, according to KREM 2 in Spokane. State Route 243 was closed at Milepost 18 for less than an hour as a result of the incident, but it reopened Friday night.

As of Friday evening, power lines were reportedly still down in the Columbia River, Grant County Power Utility District (PUD) reported on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office initially provided information about the incident.

“Army helicopter made a hard landing after striking power lines over the Columbia River,” the sheriff’s office stated on its Facebook page Friday evening. “Crew is OK.”

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The sheriff’s office “expired” their post later Friday and referred interested parties to the Facebook page of the U.S. Army’s 16th Combat Aviation Brigade which had a short post about the incident. The organization confirmed an “aviation mishap” during a routine training exercise and added there were no fatalities, but both pilots were taken in for further medical evaluation.

In addition, Joint Base Lewis McChord sent the following statement to KIRO 7 after the accident:

An aviation mishap occurred in Grant County, Wash. on the evening of Sep. 29, 2023, involving a U.S. Army AH-64E Apache helicopter assigned to 4-6 Air Cavalry Squadron, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade during a routine training exercise. There were no fatalities, but both pilots were evacuated to Yakima Training Center for evaluation by military medical personnel.

Contributing: Steve Coogan

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Army helicopter strikes power lines, causes fire in Grant County