HONOLULU – Rescuers searched choppy waters on Friday where debris was sighted after two Marine Corps helicopters carrying six crew members each crashed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu during a nighttime training mission, military officials said.
There was no immediate word on the fate of those aboard or what caused the accident.
The transport helicopters known as CH-53Es crashed late Thursday, officials said.
Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris 2 1/2 miles offshore. The wreckage was strewn over a two-mile area, Marine Capt. Timothy Irish said.
The choppers were part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Known as Super Stallions, they are the U.S. military’s largest helicopter, capable of carrying a light armored vehicle, 16 tons of cargo or a team of combat-equipped Marines, according to a Marine Corps website.
Elaray Navarro, a retiree who lives across the street from the beach, said she heard two booms late Thursday that were loud enough to shake her house.
“I threw my blanket off, put my slippers on and ran outside thinking it was a car accident,” she said.