Two FBI agents killed in training accident

51994ed5a855a.preview-300Two FBI agents with the agency’s hostage rescue team have died in a training accident off the coast of Virginia, the FBI said Sunday. The agency identified them as special agents Christopher Lorek, 41, and Stephen Shaw, 40. Both were members of the elite team, which is based at Quantico, Va.

The agency said the cause of the deaths was “under review.” WAVY-TV in Norfolk reported that the agents were killed in an accident involving a helicopter during a training exercise.

“We mourn the loss of two brave and courageous men,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said in a statement. “Like all who serve on the Hostage Rescue Team, they accept the highest risk each and every day, when training and on operational missions, to keep our nation safe. Our hearts are with their wives, children, and other loved ones who feel their loss most deeply. And they will always be part of the FBI family.”

Lorek joined the FBI in 1996 and is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 11 and 8, the agency said. Shaw joined the FBI in 2005 and is survived by his wife, a daughter, 3, and a son, 1.

A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Norfolk office, Vanessa Torres, said the accident happened Friday afternoon off the coast of Virginia Beach, the Associated Press reported. reported the agents were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital by helicopter.

FBI spokeswoman Kathleen Wright at the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters declined to comment beyond the agency’s statement.