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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Australian Air Crash

SYDNEY () -- Two Australian army helicopters collided Wednesday night, killing 17 of 28 soldiers on board during exercises in the northern state of Queensland, an army official said.

The two U.S. Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters collided over bush about 70 kilometers northwest of the tropical city of Townsville, a major army base, on the north Queensland coast.

Army helicopters transferred the injured, some in a critical condition, to Townsville hospital. A spokesman said the helicopters were on anti-terrorist night exercises flying at 50 meters at 60 to 90 knots when they collided.

"They were on exercises north of Townsville of a counter-terrorist nature, rappelling and hostage rescue," he said.