2 dead, 1 missing after copter goes down off Va.

A Navy helicopter with five crew members crashed into the ocean off the Virginia coast during a routine training mission Wednesday, killing two crew members and leaving two in the hospital, the U.S. Navy said. Rescuers searched into the night for a fifth sailor.

The two who died were among four crew members hoisted from the 42-degree waters by a Navy helicopter and taken to a hospital, the Navy said in a statement. The two surviving sailors were being treated at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. One is listed in serious condition, the other has been upgraded to fair, the Navy said in a news release.

"Today has definitely been a tough day on all of us," Capt. Todd Flannery, the commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic, said at a news conference. "Our heartfelt prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured in today's crash."

The Navy identified the aircraft as an MH-53E. In July 2012, two crew members were killed when the same model helicopter crashed into a canyon in the Gulf nation of Oman while lifting a downed aircraft.

Wednesday's helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen based at Naval Station Norfolk, was doing routine training at the time of the crash, the Navy said.

Navy Capt. Todd Flannery, left, the commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic, and U.S. Coast Guard Capt. John K. Little answer questions about a crash of a Navy MH-53-E Sea Dragon helicopter into the Atlantic off the Virginia coast on Wednesday.

Associated Press

Navy Capt. Todd Flannery, left, the commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic, and U.S. Coast Guard Capt. John K. Little answer questions about a crash of a Navy MH-53-E Sea Dragon helicopter into the Atlantic off the Virginia coast on Wednesday.

2 dead, 1 missing after copter goes down off Va. 01/08/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 11:01pm]

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...