Tuesday afternoon around 1435, a USMC CH-53E Super Stallion crashed near El Centro, California, killing the 4 man crew.
The cause of the crash is being investigated and the names of the deceased will not be released until the family have been notified. The Marines have not been identified yet, pending notification of next of kin.
El Centro is located in southeastern California, near the Mexican border.
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In a post on Facebook, the nearby Naval Air Facility El Centro wrote: "We request that you be patient as the Navy and Marine Corps team work through the incident".
The CH-53E, often deployed aboard amphibious assault ships, is the military's largest, heaviest and most-powerful helicopter, according to its manufacturer, Sikorsky. The Marine Corps said USMC refuse to give the identities of those killed. During that incident, none of the seven US military personnel were injured nor were any residents harmed, the Asahi Shimbun, one of the five national newspapers in Japan, reported. It is used for minesweeping and transport and can carry dozens of troops and tons of cargo. The Marines ultimately ruled that crash was the result of pilot error, leading two of the massive aircraft to collide in the air.
"No other injuries were reported to personnel on the ground nor damage to infrastructure at the airport", the statement added.
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