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

(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.

In this Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, file photo, displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at a camp in Syria.
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)
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