Helicopter Overloaded With Rescued Iraqis Crashes
Pilot appears to be only fatality; 2 journalists among those injured
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2014 1:55 PM CDT
In this Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, file photo, displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at a camp in Syria.   (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed, File)

(Newser) – An Iraqi helicopter that brought supplies to tens of thousands of Yazidi minorities still trapped on Iraq's Mount Sinjar crashed today because too many refugees clambered on board, an Iraqi military spokesman tells the AP. The pilot is apparently the only fatality. New York Times journalist Alissa Rubin, 56, and freelance photographer Adam Ferguson, 35, were also aboard; Rubin is said to have suffered a concussion, a broken wrist, and some busted ribs, while Ferguson tells the Times via text that he just had "a sore jaw and some minor bumps." A vocal Yazidi member of Iraq's parliament was also injured, though her condition was not immediately known.

As the US continues its airstrikes against Islamic State militants, at least four aircraft have been trying to deliver relief to the trapped refugees, reports CNN. A Kurdish government rep tells the Times that two rescue copters transported survivors of today's crash to a military base, where they were then loaded onto ambulances and taken to the city of Dohuk. An ITV News reporter tweeted what he says is an image of one of the rescue copters. NPR reports that up to 20 people were believed to have been on the copter, including some children.

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Showing 3 of 24 comments
Aug 16, 2014 4:22 PM CDT
Whatever happened to "women and children" first and journalists last ? Sounds like a couple of journalists were so anxious to get out of Dodge, or to file their stories, they forgot common sense - oh, sorry, they're journalists they don't have any "common sense"..
Aug 14, 2014 9:17 AM CDT
These are the people we're expecting to defend the country ? Helicopter must have been struggling to take off. Engine going full out. So it doesn't dawn on this pilot that just maybe he's overloaded. If this is the intelligence of the pilot what are we to think of the ordinary soldier and his ability to think on his feet.
Aug 12, 2014 5:12 PM CDT
Thank God there weren't more fatalities. God bless the pilot for trying his best.