Dutch military helicopter crashes near Aruba, killing 2 crew

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch military helicopter has crashed into the Caribbean Sea near the island of Aruba, killing two of the crew, the Defense Ministry said in a statement early Monday.

The NH90 helicopter was nearing the end of a coast guard patrol when it crashed Sunday afternoon near the island. The cause of the crash is under investigation, the ministry said.

A 34-year-old pilot, Lt. at Sea Christine Martens, and 33-year-old tactical coordinator, Lt. at Sea Erwin Warnies, were killed. The two other crew escaped without serious injury, Defense Chief Lt. Adm. Rob Bauer said.

The helicopter was based on a navy patrol ship, the Groningen. The ship was working to secure the wreckage and the helicopter’s black box, Bauer said.

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Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld expressed condolences to the families of the victims in a tweet.

Bauer said the rest of the Dutch military’s fleet of NH90 helicopters has been grounded pending the investigation.

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