5 Marines Confirmed Dead in Helicopter Crash

Aircraft went down in the mountains of California during a storm
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2024 9:25 AM CST
Updated Feb 8, 2024 7:31 AM CST
Helicopter Carrying 5 Marines Vanishes
A Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion flies during an airshow at Nellis Air Force Base, northeast of Las Vegas, on Nov. 16, 2019.   (Wikimedia Commons/Noah Wulf)
UPDATE Feb 8, 2024 7:31 AM CST

The Navy has confirmed that five Marines are dead after their helicopter crashed in the mountains near San Diego in stormy weather on Tuesday night, reports the AP. Their names have not yet been released, and efforts to recover their remains are underway. Rescuers found the wreckage on Wednesday.

Feb 7, 2024 9:25 AM CST

A search is underway for a military helicopter carrying five Marines, which vanished while flying from Nevada to California late Tuesday. The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter departed Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas and was expected at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego before it was reported overdue. The Marine Corps asked the San Diego County Sheriff's Department to take part in a search shortly before 2am Wednesday, though the department's helicopter was impeded by "the atmospheric river storm hitting the region," per ABC News.

The department then sent off-road vehicles to explore the area's rough terrain. Meanwhile, firefighters responded to the helicopter's last known location in Cleveland National Forest, finding nothing, Cal Fire said, per KGTV. In a statement, officials said the five Marines are "assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing," which is coordinating the search. "The most up-to-date information will be released as it becomes available." (More Marines stories.)

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