An investigation is under way to determine why a Lynx helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing five British service personnel.
Investigators from the UK Military Aviation Authority have cordoned off the crash site near Kandahar and will inspect the wreckage of the light utility aircraft.
The MoD has denied claims by the Taliban that insurgents shot down the helicopter, saying initial investigations indicated a technical problem during the routine flight rather than enemy action.
The inquiry is likely to look at the aircraft’s log books and other documentation, in addition to weather conditions and whether the helicopter was carrying out an authorised job according to its capabilities, experts said.
It is not thought that other Lynx helicopters in use in Afghanistan will be immediately grounded following the crash.
A spokeswoman said: “The investigation is now under way, and the area of the crash has been cordoned off.
“We cannot go into further details. At this stage it is not known how long the investigation might last or when investigators will deliver their report, but it will be a thorough inquiry.”
Three of the servicemen who died were from the Army Air Corps, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.
Prince Harry served as an Apache helicopter commander with the Army Air Corps during his tour of duty in Afghanistan last year.
A Royal Air Force serviceman stationed at the same base also died, along with a member of the Army Reserve from 3 Military Intelligence Battalion, based in London.
The next of kin of all five servicemen have been informed of their deaths but none has yet been named.
It is the third biggest single loss of life of British troops since the conflict in Afghanistan began in 2001, and brings the total number of UK service personnel killed there to 453.