Team from Fort Rucker investigating Afghan chopper crash

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (AP) - A small group of experts from southeast Alabama is overseas investigating the helicopter crash that killed 30 American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Officials said Tuesday a Shoot-Down Assessment Team from the Army's Fort Rucker has deployed to determine exactly what happened. It's not clear how long the investigation will take.

Initial reports say the Chinook helicopter went down after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Taliban fighters. Col. Chris Kubik, an Army spokesman, says 1 of the team's first tasks is to verify that the chopper really was shot down, as opposed to crashing because of a mechanical problem.

The Americans who were killed included 22 Navy SEALS.

Fort Rucker is the Army's primary aviation base specializing in helicopter flight training and safety. It's located near Daleville.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.