(Reuters) - Two marines died on Friday when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in southern California, military officials said.
The crash occurred around 4:30 p.m. local time after the aircraft took off from a marine combat center in the desert city of Twentynine Palms, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar spokeswoman Captain Melanie Salinas said in a statement.
The names of the soldiers were not immediately released. The crash is being investigated by military authorities, Salinas said.
"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the two Marines we lost in this tragic accident," Major General Michael Rocco said in a statement.
Twentynine Palms is a city of some 25,000 people roughly 140 miles (225 km) east of Los Angeles.
Further details were not immediately available.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco, editing by William Hardy)