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Helicopter crashes along U.S.-Mexico border, killing three

By William Melhado, The Texas Tribune

Helicopter crashes along U.S.-Mexico border, killing three” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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A helicopter carrying a Border Patrol agent and three National Guard members crashed along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas on Friday afternoon, killing three.

The Department of Defense Joint Task Force North said in a statement that a fourth soldier was injured in the crash that occurred just before 3 p.m. on Friday. Federal officials confirmed that two soldiers and a Border Patrol agent died in the crash.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately answer questions sent by The Texas Tribune.

The Fort Bliss-based agency said that the UH-72 Lakota helicopter was conducting operations as part of the federal Southwest border support mission when it went down. The Associated Press reported that the crash occurred near La Grulla, 30 miles west of McAllen.

The Department of Defense told the Tribune that the helicopter was not associated with Operation Lone Star, the state’s border enforcement mission that is utilizing National Guard members.

On Friday evening, the Starr County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook that its deputies were assisting with a downed helicopter on the east side of the county.

The federal agency does not plan to release the names of the deceased until next of kin have been notified.

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