Tragedy struck in Egypt this week when a military helicopter crashed, killing all but one of those on board.
The incident occurred near the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, and early reports incorrectly indicated that all eight individuals — including six United States service members — were confirmed dead, according to Just The News.
“Deeply saddened by the loss”
In addition to the Americans, the other two fatalities were identified only as members of the militaries of the Czech Republic and France, respectively.
The Pentagon released a statement on Thursday confirming the fatal incident.
“The Defense Department is deeply saddened by the loss of six U.S. and two partner nation service members in a helicopter crash in the Sinai Peninsula operating with the United Nations Multinational Force and Observers (MFO),” the statement read, according to Just The News.
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller noted the recent Veterans Day celebration in his statement on the crash.
“Yesterday we recognized the sacrifice of millions of American veterans who have defended our nation for generations, and today we are tragically reminded of the last full measure our uniformed warriors may pay for their service,” Miller said.
“During a routine mission”
Initial reports regarding the estimated death toll were inaccurate, as reported by the Military Times.
One individual survived the crash of the UH-60 Blackhawk chopper near the island of Tiran off the peninsula’s southern coast, the outlet explained.
An Army official issued a statement to the Military Times noting the toll this tragic occurrence has taken on the MFO, which watches over the border region between Egypt and Israel to ensure a decades-old peace agreement is maintained.
“It is with great sadness we confirm five U.S. Army soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash while supporting the … Multinational Force and Observers (MFO),” the statement asserted. “Once all Next of Kin have been notified, we will provide additional information.”
The MFO also released a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the loss on Nov. 12, 2020, of seven of our uniformed military colleagues from three countries who died in a helicopter crash during a routine mission. This included one Czech, one French, and five U.S. MFO members, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these soldiers at this difficult time. We wish the one U.S. MFO Member who survived the crash a speedy recovery.”