4 dead after military-contracted helicopter crashes at missile range in Hawaii, Navy says

At least 4 people were killed Tuesday morning after a military-contracted helicopter crashed at a missile range facility in Kauai, Hawaii.

The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-61N, was supporting a training operation at the Navy facility when it crashed on its northern end around 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Pacific Missile Range Facility's public affairs office.

Four people died as a result of the crash, the Navy said. It was not clear whether the four deceased were civilians or military personnel, and their names have not been released.

A Pacific Missile Range Facility spokesperson said the helicopter was operated by the Croman Corporation, an Oregon-based helicopter operating company that provides helicopters for fire suppression, logging, heavy-lift construction, and other purposes according to the company's website.

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The corporation provides "range support services" to the missile range facility, according to the U.S. Navy.

The Navy describes the Pacific Missile Range Facility as "the world's largest instrumented multi-environmental range capable of supported surface, subsurface, air, and space operations simultaneously." It covers over 1,100 square miles of instrumented underwater range and over 42,000 square miles of controlled airspace, according to the Navy.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, officials said.

Tuesday's helicopter crash follows several others across the country within recent days. One helicopter crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near a crowded stretch of Miami Beach, Florida, on Feb. 19. Hours later that same day, a police helicopter slammed into Newport Bay, California, killing one officer and critically injuring another.

And two Utah National Guard helicopters crashed Tuesday in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, morning during a training exercise, officials said. No one was injured in that crash.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hawaii helicopter crash leaves 4 dead at missile range Hawaii facility