a city of two tales

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    Crash of U.S. helicopters kills 12
    Sat November 15, 2003 02:57 PM ET
    By Seb Walker

    MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Twelve personnel from the U.S.-led occupation forces have been killed and nine wounded after two American Black Hawk helicopters crashed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, a U.S. Army spokesman says.

    One of the helicopters was hit in the tail by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG), a U.S. officer at the scene said on Saturday.

    "I know one of the helicopters was hit by an RPG on the tail wing," said a U.S. officer in Mosul, who declined to be identified.

    Local resident Mohammad Badran said the two helicopters collided after an explosion.

    "I was watching TV when I heard a large explosion," he said. "I looked outside the window and saw two helicopters. One was flying low and was on fire. The other was higher up. The first one climbed and hit the higher one. They crashed in separate areas."

    The helicopters came down in a residential area, although one ambulance driver said there were no civilian casualties.


    New York Times

    At Least 12 Dead as 2 U.S. Helicopters Collide in Iraq


    Published: November 16, 2003

    AGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 15 Ñ Two American Black Hawk helicopters collided in midair and crashed Saturday evening in the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 12 of the American soldiers aboard and wounding nine others, officials said.

    American officials said the collision occurred when one of the helicopters came under hostile fire from the ground and swerved upward to avoid it, driving its rotor into the second helicopter.

    The Black Hawks, which were traveling after sunset, went down in a residential neighborhood of Hariya. A team of American soldiers sealed off the area.

    Witnesses said the helicopters collided mid-air.

    After the (previous helicopter) downings, military officials said American helicopter pilots had been instructed to take a number of additional measures to protect themselves from hostile fire.

    It is not clear whether the Black Hawk that apparently came under fire Saturday night was engaging in one of those maneuvers when it crashed into the second helicopter.
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