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FBI: Agents fell to deaths training off Va. coast

Published On: May 20 2013 10:41:51 PM CDT
Updated On: May 19 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA -

A FBI spokeswoman says two agents who died while training off the Virginia Beach coast fell to their deaths during a "maritime counter-terrorism exercise involving helicopters and a ship."

The agents were part of the agency's elite hostage rescue team, a group known most recently for rescuing an Alabama boy from a kidnapper in an underground bunker.

Special Agent Ann Todd, an FBI spokeswoman, wrote in an email Monday night "the agents were in the process of fast-roping from the aircraft onto the ship when the helicopter encountered difficulties."

She said "the agents tragically fell a significant distance and suffered fatal injuries."

The deceased special agents have been identified as Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw. The state medical examiner's regional office is waiting for toxicology results.