updated 2/19/2008 7:15:17 PM ET 2008-02-20T00:15:17

A South Korean army helicopter crashed into a mountain near Seoul early Wednesday, killing all seven people on board, an Army official said.

The UH-1H went down in Yangpyong, about 25 miles east of Seoul around 1:40 a.m. killing two pilots, two medical officers and three soldiers, Ko Dong-hun, army lieutenant colonel, told The Associated Press. He said one female medical officer was also dead.

Ko said soldiers were moving the bodies from the mountain to transport them to a military hospital.

The chopper disappeared from a radar and lost communications at the time of accident, said Ko, adding that it was returning to a base after transporting an emergency patient to a military hospital.

Ko said cause of the crash was unknown. An investigation is underway.

In January, a pilotless South Korean spy aircraft crashed near the border with North Korea but there were no casualties on the ground.

Last year, two helicopters and two fighter jets crashed in South Korea.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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