The U.S. military confirmed on Wednesday that a transport helicopter had come down near Baghdad but declined to comment on any casualties.
“We have a CH-46 that is down,” U.S. military spokesman Major-General William Caldwell told reporters, referring to the twin-rotor Sea Knight, the Marine version of the Chinook, which can carry up to 25 passengers and four crew.
Caldwell said it had come down 12 miles northwest of Baghdad. He did not say whether it had been brought down by mechanical failure or ground fire.
“There is a quick reaction force on site. It would be inappropriate for me to talk about casualties,” Caldwell said.
Later a U.S. military statement said all seven people aboard the Marine Sea King helicopter were killed when it crashed
Although U.S. defence officials said the helicopter did not appear to have been hit by hostile fire, an Iraqi air force officer said an anti-aircraft missile downed it. While an al-Qaida-linked Sunni group has claimed responsibility for downing the helicopter.