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Updated: 5 missing Marines confirmed dead following helicopter crash

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Updated Feb. 8, 2024

Five missing Marines have been confirmed dead more than 24 hours after their helicopter crashed in California during a training flight, the U.S. Marine Corps said Thursday.

Efforts are ongoing to recover the five victims’ remains at the crash site, the Marines said Thursday.

“Their fellow Marines have remained by their sides, as Marines do, and took shifts throughout the night at the mishap site — keeping watch over our fallen despite hazardous weather conditions,” Col. James Ford, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing operations officer, said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Next of kin have been notifie and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the mishap, Ford added.

The United States Marine Corps is searching for five Marines whose helicopter went missing while en route to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar base in California on Tuesday night.

“The Marines were flying a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Creech Air Force Base to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Feb. 6, 2024, when the aircraft was reported overdue.”

Capt. Stephanie Leguizamon, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
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The Marines were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, the statement said.

Despite the bad weather hitting the region, search and rescue efforts are underway and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol are assisting.

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