3 National Guard members killed in Minn. helicopter crash

Three Minnesota National Guard members were killed Thursday when a helicopter crashed in central Minnesota, The Washington Post and ABC News reported.

The aircraft had left from an Army aviation facility in St. Cloud, ABC reported. It lost communication with the tower at about 2 p.m. during the maintenance test flight.

The crash occurred about 16 miles southwest of St. Cloud, the network said. The aircraft had been missing for hours before it was found, the Post reported.

Officials did not say whether any further members of the crew were injured, the Post said.

“Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our Guardsmen and our thoughts are with our soldiers and their families at this time,” the Minnesota National Guard said in a tweet.

Aerial footage showed wreckage on the ground amid downed trees, the Post said.

Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, was in contact with the Guard and was on his way to the site, the Post reported.