Five US Marines are dead after a military aircraft crashed during a training mission Wednesday near Glamis, California, the US Marine Corps said in a statement Thursday.
Equipment recovery efforts “have begun” and an investigation into the incident involving an MV-22B Osprey is “underway.”
“We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic mishap. Our hearts go out to their families and friends as they cope with this tragedy,”Maj. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, Commanding General of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
The MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft carrying five Marines were assigned to Marine Air Group (MAG) 39, 3rd Marine Air Wing (MAW), based at Camp Pendleton.
An Osprey usually carries a crew of three to five people, depending on the mission.
Local television showed Navy helicopters in the area, where local and federal search-and-rescue crews had responded. The crash happened at about 12:25 p.m., 1st Lt. Duane Kampa, a 3rd MAW spokesman, said by phone from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif. The area around Glamis, northeast of the Navy’s air facility at El Centro and northwest of Yuma, Ariz., is a sandy, desert area that’s popular with offroaders.
A regional aerial reporter, Malik Earnest, had posted on Twitter that “preliminary reports” indicated the Osprey had “nuclear material” aboard, and an online Broadcastify.com notice said an alert was issued for “radioactive material” on the aircraft.
But military officials said those reports of nuclear or radioactive materials were in error.
“Contrary to initial reports, there was no nuclear material on board the aircraft. More information will be made available as we receive it. There were some initial reporting that there was nuclear materials was on the aircraft, but that’s not true,”United States Marine Corps Official
The mishap is the second serious one involving a Marine Corps MV-22B this year. In March, an MV-22B crashed in Norway during a training exercise killing four Marines.