Military officials say 31 people have been killed when the Marine helicopter they were traveling in crashed early this morning in Iraq. A senior administration official in Washington says all 31 are believed to have been US Marines.
It's the deadliest single incident involving US troops in Iraq. The chopper went down while conducting security operations some 220 miles west of Baghdad. The official in Washington says there was bad weather in the area -- but that there's no word on a cause of the crash. The helicopter was a Sea Stallion that is normally configured to carry 37 passengers, but it can carry up to 55.
The deadliest single incident involving US troops before today took place in November of 2003, when two Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul after colliding. Seventeen US soldiers were killed in that incident and another five were wounded.