CHICO, Tex. — An Army helicopter that apparently caught fire in flight crashed in a pasture Thursday, killing seven soldiers and injuring 10, authorities said.
Two soldiers reportedly fell 35 feet after leaping from the flaming twin-rotor CH-47D Chinook as it hurtled toward the ground, state Public Safety Department Sgt. Robert Rankin said.
One of the two soldiers said that a fire had broken out at the back of the helicopter, which was based at Ft. Sill, Okla., and that the 17 people on board had tried to move toward the front to get away from the flames, Rankin said.
'Saw Parts Falling'
"We do have some witnesses who said they saw parts falling off back toward Chico (several miles away), and some of the witnesses said it was on fire before impact," he said.