April 25th, 2010
07:19 AM ET

3 killed in New Zealand air force chopper crash

An air force helicopter headed to a memorial service crashed before dawn Sunday near Wellington, New Zealand, killing three.

The Royal New Zealand air force helicopter was on its way to an Anzac Day service when it went down, the defense ministry said.

"It has come on a day when we gather to honor the fallen and those who have served in so many wars," said Wayne Mapp, defense minister.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. It honors soldiers from both countries who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

The battle began on April 25, 1915, and more than 10,000 New Zealand and Australian service members died.

"On a day of national remembrance for Kiwis that have lost their lives serving their country, my thoughts are especially with those who lost their loved ones today," said Heather Roy, associate defense minister.

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  1. sam

    thoughts and wishes to those who died and their families. Those flying the Hueys in the RNZAF are a small enough number that it will touch them all. My thoughts.

    April 25, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |