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2 Mississippi National Guard soldiers killed in helicopter crash

An Apache AH-64 helicopter used by the National Guard (Photo from the U.S. Army)

Two Mississippi National Guard soldiers were killed Friday during a helicopter crash in Prentiss County.

Shortly after 2 p.m., WTVA reported a crash in a wooded area off Highway 30 near Mount Olive Baptist Church in east Prentiss. The Mississippi National Guard did not take long to release a statement, confirming that it was an Apache AH-64 helicopter that crashed during a routine training flight.

At 4:46 p.m., Gov. Tate Reeves revealed the news that the two soldiers aboard had passed away:

“Today at approximately 2 p.m., the Mississippi National Guard experienced an Apache AH-64 helicopter crash during a routine training flight in Prentiss County. Tragically, both Guardsmen on board did not survive. Safety crews are currently working the scene of the crash with local authorities. Please join [the First Lady] and me in praying for the two Guardsmen and their families. Mississippi will always be grateful for their service, and we will never forget them.”

Since the devastating news, several local, state, and federal officials have gone to social media to issue their condolences.

The identities of the Guard members were revealed as Bryan Andrew Zemek, 36, and Derek Joshua Abbott, 42. Both men were chief warrant officers. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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