Five members of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) aboard a helicopter that went missing during a flight from Nevada to California were confirmed dead on Thursday morning.
A search-and-rescue mission was initiated for the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter after it was reported as overdue on Wednesday.
The heavy-duty cargo helicopter was conducting a training flight from an Air Force base in Nevada to an air station close to San Diego.
The crew was navigating through a significant storm that brought snow and rain across California, conditions that also hindered search and rescue operations.
Later, it was discovered in the snow-covered mountains of California, approximately 45 miles away from its intended destination.
“It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and the ‘Flying Tigers,” Maj Gen Michael J Borgschulte, commander of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, said in a statement on Thursday.
The identities of the deceased have not yet been disclosed.
According to CBS News, the five individuals were members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, part of Marine Aircraft Group 16, within the Third Marine Aircraft Wing of the USMC.
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