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Crew Members Presumed Dead After Marine Corps Helicopter Crashes Near El Centro

05 April 2018

The Marine Corps has launched an investigation into a helicopter crash believed to have killed four crewmembers during a routine training mission in southern California near the Mexican border, Marine officials said Wednesday.

The CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter, part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, went down in Plaster City, California about 2.30pm Pacific Time on Tuesday.

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Previous: Four crew members who were aboard a Marine helicopter are presumed dead after it crashed near the U.S. -Mexico border.

The Naval Safety Center had recorded 23 air fatalities involving Navy and Marine Corps crews over the previous 12 months before Tuesday's crash.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar says four crew members were aboard the aircraft.

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According to the Associated Press, the CH-53E Super Stallion crash is the deadliest to involve a military aircraft since 15 Marines and a sailor were killed after a KC130T transport plane went down in MS in July 2017. The names of the dead were withheld pending notification of their families, which typically takes about 24 hours. Last October, a CH-53E helicopter crashed and burned in Okinawa but nobody was injured. It is primarily used for used for minesweeping and transportation of cargo.

Tuesday's helicopter incident is not the first over U.S. territory this year. In 2005, 31 people died when a CH-53E helicopter went down in Iraq during a sandstorm.

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Crew Members Presumed Dead After Marine Corps Helicopter Crashes Near El Centro