A U.S. military helicopter made a forced landing Thursday morning in a usually busy square in the Romanian capital. There were no reports of injuries.
The chopper, a Black Hawk, lost altitude and hit two street lights as it landed on a roundabout in the Charles de Gaulle square. They damaged two stationary cars.
Romanian media reported that the chopper belongs to the U.S. Army and was on a training exercise with Romanian helicopters ahead of Romania’s aviation day on July 20.
Shortly before landing, the pilot alerted authorities that he had problems. Police stopped traffic entering the square and „avoided a tragedy”, a police spokesman said. Traffic remains restricted in the area.
People gathered at the edge of the square and took photos with their phones. The helicopter remained in the square several hours later.
Military prosecutors were at the site of the landing and investigating the causes. The defense ministry has canceled participation of all aircraft in aviation ceremonies this weekend.
The U.S Embassy said it was aware if the incident and following developments. It said it was working closely with Romanian authorities.
A video shows the copter flying at a low altitude as it enters the square from the south.
The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is an air assault aircraft. It is a twin-engined medium-lift utility helicopter. The basic crew is a pilot, co-pilot and crew chief, according to military.com.
The square which used to be called Aviation Square was renamed Charles de Gaulle in 1997 during a visit to Bucharest by French President Jacques Chirac.
In the past, it was also called Adolf Hitler Square and Stalin Square.