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Four sailors were treated and released Wednesday from the hospital at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, after suffering minor injuries when their helicopter crashed on base, a Navy official said.

The MH-53 Sea Dragon, assigned to Sigonella’s Helicopter Support Squadron 4, was on a training exercise when it crashed on the base’s runway about 4:20 p.m., said Navy Lt. j.g. David Luckett, a spokesman for U.S. 6th Fleet.

The four sailors, whose names were not released, were treated at the Navy hospital. Luckett did not know details or the extent of their injuries, but said they were minor.

Wednesday’s crash marks the third incident involving the MH-53 at Sigonella in the past two years. Four HC-4 sailors died in July 2003 when their helicopter crashed during a training flight, and four were injured in another crash in August 2004.

U.S. and Italian investigators are probing the cause of the crash, Luckett said.

The squadron provides heavy helicopter combat support to the fleet in the European theater.


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