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Marine Helicopter Crash Claims Five Lives in California

The tragic outcome of a missing helicopter incident has been confirmed, with officials announcing the discovery of five Marines dead in California.

The personnel were aboard a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter during a training flight from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego when they went missing.

The helicopter’s last known location was reported near San Diego at approximately 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, with the aircraft declared overdue in the early hours of Wednesday.

Despite intensive search efforts, the wreckage was located in a rugged mountainous area east of San Diego by Wednesday morning. The adverse weather conditions, including rain and snow, severely hampered the search operations led by various federal and local agencies.

The Marines belonged to the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. In line with military protocols, their identities are withheld until 24 hours after the next-of-kin notifications are completed.

Major General Michael J. Borgschulte expressed deep sorrow over the loss, emphasizing the dedication and service of the fallen Marines.

“It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and the “Flying Tigers” while conducting a training flight last night,” said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte

President Joe Biden also conveyed his and the First Lady’s heartbreak, extending condolences to the families and comrades of the deceased, and acknowledging the profound sacrifice made by these service members.

Recovery operations for the Marines and the helicopter are in progress, alongside an ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash, aiming to prevent future tragedies.

With information from CBS News

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