12 Missing After Collision Of 2 Marine Helicopters Off Hawaii

A search and rescue mission is underway during a high surf warning.

Two military helicopters collided off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Oahu late Thursday night, and a search is underway for 12 missing crew members. 

In a statement Friday morning, the U.S. Marine Corps confirmed that the incident involved two CH-53 transport helicopters. 

"The Marine Corps can confirm there is an active search and rescue operation ongoing for two CH-53E helicopters off the...

Posted by U.S. Marine Corps on Friday, January 15, 2016

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers told CNN that searchers have spotted a fire and a debris field, including an empty life raft, about 2.5 miles north of Haleiwa Beach. A total of 12 people were aboard the two helicopters. 

KHON 2 reports that witnesses in the area say they heard a loud boom over the water and saw a big flare in the sky.

Marine officials reportedly contacted the Coast Guard about the missing aircraft around 11 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning for the north-facing shores of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Molokai, with waves expected to peak today at 30 to 40 feet.

There was no immediate information about what caused the crash. By sunrise, about seven hours after the incident was reported, no survivors had been located.

"Marine Corps Forces Pacific are currently working with the U.S. Coast Guard District 14 in ongoing search and rescue...

Posted by U.S. Marine Corps on Friday, January 15, 2016


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