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Helicopter Crash Kills Four Southern California Marines

A sign at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is shown in this photo, Sept. ...

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: A sign at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is shown in this photo, Sept. 29, 2017.

Four U.S. Marines are dead after their helicopter crashed during a training mission in Southern California.

The marines were the crew members on a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter that was based at Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar in San Diego.

Military officials said the aircraft was taking part in routine military training near Plaster City in Imperial County. The crash site is about 15 miles west of El Centro.

The helicopter crashed around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. All four crew members died in the accident.

The marines will not be identified until at least 24 hours after next of kin have been notified.

The helicopter is the largest used in the military and it sports three huge engines.

“They conduct missions like humanitarian aid, troop transport, casualty evacuations. But primarily it is known for its external lift capability,” said USMC Capt. Morgan Frazer, 3rd Marine Air Wing.

The Super Stallion helicopter craft is capable of carrying up to 50 marines or 30,000 pounds of equipment.

Military officials say the cause of the crash is under investigation.

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