Five U.S. Marines were killed when a military aircraft crashed during a training mission in Southern California on Wednesday, the U.S. Marine Corps said.
The aircraft, an MV-22B Osprey that belonged to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, crashed at about 12:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time near Glamis, Calif., more than 100 miles east of San Diego, the Marine Corps said in a statement on Thursday.
The cause of the crash was under investigation and equipment recovery efforts were ongoing, the Marine Corps said.
The identities of the five Marines have not been released, pending the notification of their families.
“We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic mishap,” said Gen. Bradford J. Gering, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. “Our hearts go out to their families and friends as they cope with this tragedy.”
In a statement on Wednesday, the Marine Corps said that, “contrary to initial reports, there was no nuclear material onboard the aircraft.”
Multiple agencies and emergency medical workers responded to the crash site, said Gil Rebollar, a spokesman for the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office.
The crash came almost three months after four Marines were killed in Norway during a NATO training exercise while using the same type of aircraft, an MV-22B, which can be operated as a helicopter or a turboprop aircraft, according to the U.S. Navy.
The aircraft’s main use for the U.S. Marine Corps is the “transportation of troops, equipment and supplies from ships and land bases for combat assault and assault support,” according to the Navy.
In late March, a small Navy plane crashed along Virginia’s Eastern Shore, killing one crew member and injuring two others. That plane was an E-2D Hawkeye.