CNN is reporting that 7 US Marines have been killed after two helicopters collided during a night training exercise near the California-Arizona border.
According to the report, the tragic accident occurred around 8pm on Wednesday and involved an AH-1W “Super Cobra” attack helicopter and a UH-1Y “Huey” utility chopper, which the military has long used for a variety of tasks.
While the exact location of the crash hasn’t been confirmed, officials said earlier on Thursday that it happened near the Marine Corps air station in Yuma, Arizona which houses 14,000 personnel and 600 aircraft for ongoing training each year.
Lt Maureen Dooley, a military official, said that the victims of the crash, whose names have not yet been released, were all part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
“We won’t know exactly what happened until the investigation is complete, and we can’t make any assumptions right now,” Dooley told reporters.
When asked whether the accident was a result of technical or pilot error, Dooley said she unable to comment.
Fox News Phoenix gives more details on the Yuma Marine helicopter crash in the video clip below:
Despite the tragic outcome, Wednesday’s Arizona helicopter training crash wasn’t the first of its kind.
CBS News reports that another helicopter went down in September during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, killed the two Marines onboard and set off a fast-moving brush fire at Camp Pendleton.
Earlier that year, 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 but survived.