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US Army grounds entire fleet of Chinook helicopters after engine fires

Photo by Staff Sgt. Horace Murray/U.S. Army

(WASHINGTON) -- The United States Army said Tuesday it has grounded its entire fleet of Chinook cargo helicopters after fuel leaks caused a "small number" of engine fires.

The Army has identified the cause of the leaks among an "isolated number" of Boeing H-47 Chinooks and is working to resolve the issue, according to Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith.

"While no deaths or injuries occurred, the Army temporarily grounded the H-47 fleet out of an abundance of caution, until those corrective actions are complete," Smith said in a statement Tuesday. "The safety of our Soldiers is the Army’s top priority, and we will ensure our aircraft remain safe and airworthy."

A U.S. official told ABC News there are about 70 aircraft that teams are looking at because they have a part that is suspected to be connected to the problem.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report the grounding.

The Army has about 400 Chinooks in its fleet around the world, using them to transport troops and equipment as seen in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The CH-47F, one of the latest versions of the Chinook, is the Army's only heavy-lift cargo helicopter supporting combat and other critical operations, according to the Army's website.

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