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Three soldiers killed in helicopter crash in New York

The soldiers were in a National Guard medical evacuation helicopter on a training mission when it crashed south of Rochester.

Three soldiers were killed Wednesday in a helicopter crash south of Rochester, New York, during a training mission, state military officials said.

The soldiers were in a New York Army National Guard UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter when it went down in the town of Mendon, the state military affairs division said.

Their names were not immediately released.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said the military helicopter crashed in a field around 6:30 p.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was devastated by the news and was ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff Thursday.

"National Guard members are our citizen-soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect both here and abroad, and I extend prayers and condolences from all New Yorkers to the family, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honorable heroes who we will never forget," Cuomo said in a statement.

The state military affairs division said that the crash was under investigation.

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The helicopter was assigned to C Company of the 1st Battalion, 171st General Support Aviation Battalion, it said, and the aircraft was based at Rochester International Airport.

Mendon is a town of around 9,200 about 13 miles south of Rochester.

The helicopter crashed in what was described as a farmer's field. Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said that there were no houses nearby and as far as investigators are aware no houses were struck by any debris.