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Sixteen Found Dead At Afghan Crash Site --> Chinook CH-47 (file photo) Washington, 30 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. Defense Department says a recovery team today secured the remains of 16 U.S. military personnel who died in the crash of their helicopter in a rugged mountain ravine in eastern Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Major Paul Swiergosz, a Pentagon spokesman, told RFE/RL in Washington that the recovery team had secured the site of the crash and that the remains of all 16 people aboard had been secured.

Swiergosz said it is too early to say whether the remains had been actually taken away. The crash site is in a remote, rugged terrain, and enemy fighters are in the area.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Only 16 people were on the Chinook helicopter at the time of the crash, according to Swiergosz. The Pentagon originally reported that 17 people were aboard, but Swiergosz said that number was based on an inaccurate flight manifest.

See also:

U.S. Locates Downed Helicopter

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