By By Ernie Stephens, Editor-at-Large | April 28, 2014
Five British servicemen were killed on April 26 when their AgustaWestland Lynx Mk9A helicopter crashed in Afghanistan near Kandahar air base. Twenty-four hours later, it was still unclear what caused the twin-engine utility helicopter based at RAF Odiharn in Hampshire to come down. It is the third largest loss of life for British troops since reporting to the region back in 2001.
Defense Secretary Philip Hammond expressed his condolences to the families of the five lost servicemen, which consisted of three soldiers, one airman, and one army reservist. He also said that the RAF's fleet of Lynx MK9As would continue to fly while the investigation into the cause of the crash continues.
"Lynx Mk9A helicopters have a good operational safety record," said Hammond. "And commanders have judged that it is safe for the fleet to continue to operate while the investigation is carried out."
Members of the Taliban claimed to have shot the aircraft down, but because of the mountainous areas the aircraft was operating in at the time it was lost, investigators are considering all possible causes, particularly the weather.
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