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Copter From Fort Bragg Missing in S.C.

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FLORENCE, S.C. - An Army helicopter with three soldiers aboard vanished during a training flight in bad weather, and a search was under way Tuesday, authorities said.

The UH-60 Blackhawk was on a flight from Fort Bragg, N.C., to Florence when it was reported missing about 9:50 p.m. Monday.

It wasn't known if the helicopter crashed or made an emergency landing, but there had been no distress signals, Lt. Col. Billy Buckner, a spokesman for the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, said Tuesday morning.

Rain and thunderstorms moved across South Carolina on Monday evening.

"Obviously, it was inclement weather but our aircraft and crews can fly in that," Buckner said.

The missing chopper's last known position was 20 miles northeast of Florence, Buckner said. The Civil Air Patrol conducted a search of 15 square miles near the Pee Dee River on Tuesday. The area is in far northeastern South Carolina.

Four helicopters have been sent to help in the search, and at least 50 soldiers were on their way to the site, Buckner said.

"We are continuing to conduct the search for the crew," Buckner said.

Crew members carried radios on their flight survival vests, but there have been no signals, Buckner said.

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