Washington (diplomat.so) - the U.S. Marine Corps confirmed the deaths of five Marines who had been missing for over 24 hours following a helicopter crash during a routine training flight.
The distressing incident unfolded when a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, en route from Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in the San Diego area, was reported overdue on Tuesday night.
In response, a comprehensive search operation was launched, with assistance sought from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and Civil Air Patrol. Despite diligent efforts, the search was hampered by adverse weather conditions caused by an atmospheric river storm pounding the region, hindering helicopter access and necessitating ground search efforts.
The wreckage of the helicopter was eventually located at 9:08 a.m. on Wednesday, marking a devastating turn in the operation.
Presently, endeavors are underway to recover the remains of the five Marines, as authorities initiate an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.
Expressing his grief, President Joe Biden conveyed his condolences to the families of the fallen Marines and praised the collaborative efforts of various agencies involved in the search and recovery mission.
Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte echoed sentiments of sorrow and gratitude, extending condolences to the bereaved families and emphasizing ongoing support initiatives during this trying period.