The helicopter from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing went down near El Centro, California, around 2:35 p.m. local time on April 3, the Marines announced Wednesday.
The chopper went down near El Centro, California, Tuesday afternoon during what the Marines termed was a "routine training mission". The Marines have not been identified yet, pending notification of next of kin. "The status of all four is presumed dead pending positive identification", the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said in a press release. "Right now we ask that you keep these fearless service members in your thoughts and prayers". In addition, U.S.A officials have not confirmed whether those killed were Marines.
Maj. Morgan Frazer, a spokesman for the unit, said additional details about the crash were not available Wednesday morning. It is essentially used for minesweeping, transportation and is capable of carrying dozens of troops and tons of cargo. The crash on Tuesday appears to be the deadliest CH-53 incident since a crash off the coast of Hawaii in 2016 killed 12 Marines during a nighttime training flight. In 2005, more than 30 people died when another CH-53E helicopter went down in Iraq during a sandstorm, according to AP.
There were no reports of injuries to personnel on the ground or damage to the infrastructure at the airport.
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