4 Crew Members Presumed Dead After Marine Corps Helicopter Crashes Near El Centro

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All four people aboard a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter were presumed dead after the aircraft crashed near El Centro on Tuesday, officials said.

A Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter lifts an M777 howitzer during integrated slingload training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton on April 12, 2017. (Credit: U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Frank Cordoba)

A Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter lifts an M777 howitzer during integrated slingload training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton on April 12, 2017. (Credit: U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Frank Cordoba)

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing crashed around 2:35 p.m. during a routine training mission, according to a statement from the U.S. Marine Corps.

The incident happened in the vicinity north of Plaster City, about 17 miles west of El Centro in Imperial County, according to the Naval Air Facility in El Centro.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

The crew members' names would be withheld until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification, the U.S. Marine Corps said.

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