Seven Marines have been killed in a mid air helicopter accident

Seven Marines have been killed in a mid air helicopter accident near Yuma.

Posted: Updated:
Picture of crash scene, courtesy CNN Picture of crash scene, courtesy CNN

MARINE HELICOPTER CRASH UPDATE: Press conference just wrapped up. Commanding Officer Robert Kuckuk says the marine that died was a captain and helicopter instructor. His name is not being released at this time, but Commanding Officer Kuckuk says his family has been notified.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The U.S. Marine Corps says a collision between two helicopters that killed seven Marines happened on the California side of the Chocolate Mountains close to the Arizona border.

Lt. Maureen Dooley with the Miramar Air Base in California says Wednesday night's crash during training involved an AH-1W "Cobra" that carries two crew members and a UH-1 "Huey" helicopter.

The aircraft from Camp Pendleton, Calif., collided in a remote portion of the Yuma Training Range Complex. 

The U.S. military and its allies train in the hot, desert area ringed by mountains because the conditions are similar to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

It was the most recent of several accidents in the past year involving Marine Corps training in Southern California.

Previous Updated:

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - The Marine Corps says seven Marines were killed in a collision of two helicopters north of Yuma, Ariz., during night training. 

Lt. Maureen Dooley with the Miramar Air Base in California says the Marines were based at Camp Pendleton north of San Diego. 

She says the crash involved Cobra and Huey helicopters. 

Authorities say it happened Wednesday evening. 

Dooley says investigators were still gathering information early Thursday. 

It will be at least 24 hours before the Marine Corps releases the names of those killed.

Previous Updated:

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Seven Marines were killed late Wednesday in a collision of two helicopters near Yuma, Ariz., during night training exercises, the Marine Corps said Thursday.

Lt. Maureen Dooley with Miramar Air Base in California said the service members with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing were based at Camp Pendleton north of San Diego. The crash involved an AH-1W "Cobra" and UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, she said.

The aircraft collided in a remote portion of the Yuma Training Range Complex.

"We're still gathering a lot of details as the sun comes up," Dooley said.

It will be at least 24 hours before the Marine Corps releases the names of those killed, she said.

Capt. Staci Reidinger, director of public affairs at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma said earlier Thursday that the crash happened west of the Chocolate Mountains in California, though the exact location hasn't been confirmed.

"It's not in a populated area," she said.

Several accidents have happened in the past year involving Marine Corps training in Southern California.

In September, a helicopter went down during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, killed the two Marines onboard and set off a fast-moving brush fire at Camp Pendleton.

In August, two Marines were ejected from their F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet as it plunged toward the Pacific Ocean. The two Marines spent four hours in the dark, chilly ocean before they were rescued. Both suffered broken bones but survived.

In July, a decorated Marine from western New York was killed during a training exercise when his UH-1Y helicopter went down in a remote section of Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.

Another Hornet sustained at least $1 million damage when its engine caught fire on March 30 aboard the USS John C. Stennis during a training exercise about 100 miles off the San Diego coast. Eight sailors, a Marine and two civilians were injured.

A decade ago, in February 2002, a helicopter crash in the Chocolate Mountains in eastern Imperial County, Calif., killed two Camp Pendleton Marines and injured two others. The UH-1N "Huey" was on a routine training mission in the Naval gunnery range.

Previous Updated:

Seven Marines have been killed in a mid air helicopter accident in Yuma. We are working on the story. Tune to KSWT for the latest.

 

Previous Updated:

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - A military official says two Huey military helicopters have crashed in the Chocolate Mountains in southeast California, but it's unclear whether there are casualties.

A spokeswoman with the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona says it happened Wednesday evening during night training in a remote area.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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