Marine helicopter crashes near El Centro, killing 4 crew members

Marine helicopter crashes near El Centro, killing 4 crew members

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing crashed around 2:35 p.m.

The military helicopter crashed near Plaster City killing all four crew members, according to reports.

An investigation is under way into the cause of the crash.

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To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader. He did not say whether the Marines in the helicopter had been confirmed killed or whether their families had been notified.

Deputy Coroner Derrick Lindberg with the Imperial County Sheriff's Office said the bodies of the four crew members killed in a military helicopter crash were recovered Tuesday night and taken to a coroner's facility. The situation on the ground is changing as new information becomes available. El Centro is approximately 113 miles east of San Diego, CBS San Diego affiliate KFMB-TV notes.

The CH-53E Super Stallion is the largest helicopter in the US military. It is essentially used for minesweeping, transportation and is capable of carrying dozens of troops and tons of cargo.

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Two years ago, 12 Marines died when two of the helicopters collided off the coast of Oahu in Hawaii. According to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command based in Bahrain, the pilot ejected shortly after takeoff and was in stable condition.

"No other injuries were reported to personnel on the ground nor damage to infrastructure at the airport", the statement added.

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