BREAKING: 5 Marines killed in helicopter crash near San Diego: report

"It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing."


5 US Marines have died after a helicopter crash that occurred near San Diego.  

The crashed helicopter was found in the mountains on Wednesday, according to CBS News. The military has confirmed the deaths of the 5 Marines with a statement from Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, sent to the outlet which said, "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.'" 

"These pilots and crewmembers were serving a calling greater than self and were proud to do so. We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service. To the families of our fallen Marines, we send our deepest condolences and commit to ensuring your support and care during this incredibly difficult time," he added. 

The Marines had been on route to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California. Those that were killed have not been identified as of Thursday morning.  

Events leading to the crash took place sometime between Tuesday night at 11:30 p.m. local time and on Wednesday morning when it was found.  

The Marines in the aircraft had been performing a training exercise and flying a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Creech Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada to the base in San Diego.  

San Diego Sherriff's Department told CBS that cloud cover on Wednesday morning had prevented the office from launching its own helicopter in the search and rescue effort which could have been a factor in the crash. 

Search efforts to locate the bodies of the Marines and the equipment from the crash are underway. An investigation into the crash is ongoing as of Thursday morning. US Forest Service and Border Patrol are also assisting in the search effort.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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