2 U.S. Military Helicopters Collide off Hawaii With 12 People Aboard

2-marine-choppers

The Marine Corps said Friday that it is searching for two helicopters that collided off the Hawaiian island of Oahu with a total of 12 people on board.

There was no immediate word on what caused the collision of the two heavy-lift transport helicopters or if any survivors have been found.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it is conducting search and rescue operations. There was a high surf advisory in effect. Rescuers are facing 10-foot waves that were expected to rise.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers tells The Associated Press that the Marine Corps reported the collision  just before midnight. Mooers says each aircraft had six people aboard.

She says a debris field has been spotted 2 ½ miles off the coast, near the town of Haleiwa.

The two CH-53s helicopters are from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing from Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

KHON TV in Honolulu reports witnesses in the area heard a loud boom over the water and saw a big flare in the sky. Rescuers have spotted a fire and a debris field, including an empty life raft, but no signs of survivors as of 8:30 a.m. EST.

Contributing: Marine Corps Times

SOURCE:
USA TODAY

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