updated 2/18/2010 6:49:38 PM ET 2010-02-18T23:49:38

A Navy helicopter crashed Thursday during a training exercise in a remote, hilly area of West Virginia, injuring at least four of the 17 aboard, the military said.

West Virginia Air National Guard Lt. Col. Harrison Gilliam (Gill UM) said the accident occurred about 20 miles south of Lewisburg about 2 p.m. Thursday. Search-and-rescue crews are at the scene.

The helicopter took off from Fort Pickett in Virginia as part of a medical aircraft training exercise involving the Navy, Army and Air Guard and Canadian Army. The helicopter was headed for Camp Dawson near Kingwood, W.Va.

Gilliam says it wasn't clear how bad the injuries were or what caused the accident.

In Virginia, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital spokesman Eric Earnhart said the hospital has sent five ambulances about 95 miles to a hospital near the crash site in case the injured needed a higher level of trauma care.

Earnhart said Carilion officials were told that weather conditions prohibited transport of the patients by helicopter.

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