4 believed dead in suspected US military 'copter crash in Britain

Agence France Presse

Posted at Jan 08 2014 07:14 AM | Updated as of Jan 08 2014 03:14 PM

LONDON - Four people are believed to have been killed in a helicopter crash in eastern England on Tuesday, police said, with a local US Air Force base confirming they were "working on an incident".

Norfolk Police said in a statement that they were dealing with a single helicopter crash in the Cley area, on the North Norfolk coast.

"There are believed to be four fatalities," added the statement.

Officers have cordoned off a 400 metre area around the accident site.

A spokesman from the US Air Force base at nearby Royal Air Force (RAF) station Lakenheath confirmed they were "working on an incident" involving a Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk aircraft that had been "conducting low-level training in the area".

Lakenheath is situated in neighbouring county Suffolk, and, although an RAF base, hosts US Air Force units and personnel, including the 48th Fighter Wing.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution earlier revealed that it had been asked for three lifeboats to respond to reports that an aircraft may have ditched in the sea.

"Lifeboats Wells, Sheringham and Cromer were launched at the request of the coastguard but were stood down when it was confirmed that the aircraft had come down over land," said a spokesman.

Britain is suffering from a spell of stormy weather and high winds, but the west of the country has borne the brunt of the rough conditions.

Seven people have died in England since the beginning of the Christmas period while high winds left 250,000 homes without power.