- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

BERLIN (AP) - Germany’s Defense Ministry says the main rotor blades fell off one of its military helicopters as it plunged to the ground in northern Mali last month, killing both crewmembers, but said it was too early to blame the blades for causing the accident.

The Tiger helicopter was taking part in U.N. peacekeeping activities. Germany suspended flights with similar helicopters pending the crash investigation.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff says Wednesday “we believe the aircraft unexpectedly entered into a steep descent and then hit the ground after ten seconds.”

Flosdorff said “the main rotor blades came off the helicopter during this falling phase” but added: “I’d warn against hasty conclusions in one direction or the other.”

Germany is in touch with countries, including France and Spain, whose militaries use the helicopter.

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