2 Killed, 76 Injured in Accidents in NATO Exercises
HANOVER, West Germany (AP) _ Accidents in the first three days of NATO maneuvers in West Germany have killed a British soldier and a West German civilian, and left 76 people injured, military officials said Wednesday.
Among the 76 were six American soldiers injured when a U.S. Army helicopter struck a high-voltage wire and crashed before dawn near Linsburg, about 12 miles northwest of Hanover, said Maj. Thomas Schmidt, a West German officer and spokesman for the NATO maneuvers.
A British soldier was killed when his motorcycle rammed into a West German army truck on a country road between Wietze and Jeversen, north of Hanover, early Wednesday, the military said.
Maneuver officials declined to identify the soldier, but Britain’s domestic news agency, Press Association, said the victim was 23-year-old sapper Douglas Hogg.
A West German civilian was killed when his car smashed into a military vehicle near Osnabrueck. Officials could not give any other details.
Schmidt said there have been about 520 cases where local residents reported damage to roads, fields and buildings but could not give an estimate of total damage as a result of the maneuvers.
The war games, code-named Certain Strike, started Monday and involve 78,300 allied troops.
The pilot of the U.S. Army’s UH-60 Blackhawk was seriously injured in the helicopter crash near Linsburg, Schmidt said.
Schmidt said the Blackhawk was assigned to the 6th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas.
He said the pilot was flown to a hospital in Hanover, and that his condition was improving. The five other crew members were being treated at hospitals in Neustadt and Nienburg, both near the crash site, he said.
No identities were released.
The helicopter crashed in a rural area, and there were no reports of any injuries on the ground or damage to civilian property, Schmidt said.