Military suspects mechanical problem in deadly helicopter crash

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Pentagon suspects that a mechanical problem is to blame for a helicopter crash in southern Iraq that killed all seven American soldiers aboard.

The Chinook helicopter was in a four-helicopter formation when it went down early today.

Earlier, a military spokesman said that hostile fire had been ruled out since the other helicopters in the flight were unharmed.

It's the worst accident since seven American soldiers died in a vehicle accident a year ago. And it's the deadliest helicopter incident since 14 soldiers died in a crash in August of last year.

Meanwhile, the military says two U.S. soldiers died from non-combat-related causes yesterday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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