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U.S. Copter Crashes in Philippines

February 21, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A U.S. Army helicopter crashed at sea in the Philippines Thursday with 12 Americans aboard.

A search by another U.S. helicopter and other American military aircraft found no survivors, but the search was continuing, said Navy Cmdr. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

There were no initial indications that the helicopter was brought down by hostile fire, Davis said.

The CH-47 Chinook helicopter was flying from the island of Basilan in the southern Philippines to the tiny islet of Mactan, Davis said. It crashed in a gulf north of Basilan at 1:30 p.m. EST (2:30 a.m. Friday in the Philippines), he said.

The air base at Mactan is a logistics base for the anti-terrorist training operation being conducted by U.S. forces on Basilan.

The Chinook was flying in tandem with another CH-47 at the time it went down. The second CH-47 conducted an aerial search and was being joined by other American military aircraft.

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