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Report: Grenade downed Chinook in Afghanistan

Posted by The Agonist on October 13th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Kabul | Oct 12

USA TODAY – U.S. military investigators have concluded that the Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan that killed 30 U.S. troops in August was downed by a rocket-propelled grenade that hit the rear rotor, causing the aircraft to fall vertically to the ground and burst into flames.

The Aug. 6 crash was deadliest single incident for U.S. forces in the decade-long war and the Taliban claimed responsibility. No one survived the crash in Tangi Valley of Wardak province, about 60 miles southwest of Kabul.

“A previously undetected group of suspected Taliban fighters fired two or three RPGs in rapid succession from the tower of a two-story mud brick building approximately 220 meters south” of the aircraft, said the official investigation report, issued Wednesday by the U.S. Central Command. “The first RPG missed the helicopter, but the second RPG struck one of the blades on the aft (rear) rotor assembly and exploded.”

The report said that after the rotor was hit, the helicopter spun violently and then crashed in a dry creek bed where it was engulfed in flames. The fire triggered several explosions of fuel and munitions.

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