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U.S. Helicopter Crashes in Indonesia

January 10, 2005

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ A U.S. helicopter with 10 people on board crashed near the Banda Aceh airport Monday while on a tsunami-relief operation, a U.S. military spokesman said.

It was not yet known if anybody was killed or injured, said Joe Plenzler, a U.S. military spokesman in Medan, 250 miles southeast of Banda Aceh.

The SH60 helicopter crashed in a rice paddy about 500 yards from the airport in Banda Aceh, the main city on Indonesia’s tsunami-battered Sumatra island, as it was trying to land, he said.

``There was no fire ball but a little smoke,″ he said. ``It landed on its side.″

A Singapore air force officer, Andre Nabaison, said he thought all 10 on board the chopper survived. He was not sure about injuries.

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