KEY POINTS

  • The crash happened near Mendon
  • Officials said the aircraft was completely engulfed in flames
  • The UH-60 New York National Guard medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine training mission when it went down

A military chopper crashed in upstate New York on Wednesday evening, killing at least three soldiers, officials said.

The UH-60 New York National Guard medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine training mission when it pummeled into an open field near West Bloomfield Road in Mendon, New York, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies received reports about an aircraft in distress at around 6.30 a.m. ET, and it crashed just minutes later. During a press conference on Wednesday night, deputies said the chopper was flying very low and the engine was sputtering, ABC News reported.

When rescue crews responded to the scene, they found the aircraft completely engulfed in flames, and the debris was the size of a few city blocks.

Officials from several fire departments, state police, and representatives from the U.S. military responded to the scene, the sheriff’s office said at the press conference. The crash prompted the closure of the nearby roads.

The New York National Guard and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will reportedly investigate the crash. Neither the cause of the crash nor the identities of the deceased soldiers were revealed by officials.

The helicopter was based at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport and was assigned to C Company of the First Battalion, ABC News reported. Flags on all state buildings will be flown at half-staff to pay homage to the deceased soldiers from the New York National Guard, the outlet reported.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted his response about the crash Wednesday, saying the news left him "devastated."

"Tonight we are devastated by the crash of a New York Army National Guard helicopter in the town of Mendon that killed three of New York's bravest during a training mission," Cuomo wrote.

"National Guard members are our citizen soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect both here and aboard, and I extend prayers and condolences from all New Yorkers to the family, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honorable heroes who we will never forget," the statement read.

A US-made OH-58D Kiowa helicopter fires a Hellfire anti-armour missile A US-made OH-58D Kiowa helicopter fires a Hellfire anti-armour missile Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh