Search Underway for Missing Helicopter Carrying 5 Marines in California

Search and rescue teams were combing the snowy forests and hills east of San Diego on Wednesday after a military helicopter with five Marines on board was reported missing, the authorities said.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was informed after 1 a.m. local time that the helicopter, which had been scheduled to land at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego on Tuesday, had gone missing in the Pine Valley area, about 44 miles east of San Diego, Lt. Matthew Carpenter, a spokesman for the department, said.

The department’s search and rescue units were on foot and in four-wheel-drive vehicles assisting the Marine and Civil Air Patrol teams specializing in mountain searches, he said.

“The weather is so bad out there with snow and low cloud coverage that we could not get helicopters out there,” he said.

A statement from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said the helicopter, a CH-53E Super Stallion, an aircraft that is used to carry heavy vehicles, cargo and personnel, was flying from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar when it was “reported overdue.”

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