Seven Marines, four soldiers missing after Florida copter crash

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 11, 2015 5:35 AM

(Reuters) - Seven Marines and four soldiers were unaccounted for early on Wednesday morning after their Army helicopter crashed during a night time training mission in Florida, a military official said.

One of two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters participating in the routine exercise crashed near Eglin Air Force Base, some 50 miles (80 km) east of Pensacola, and rescue workers discovered debris around 2 a.m. local time on Wednesday, base spokesman Andy Bourland said in a statement.

The Marines were part of a special operations unit based out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, while the aircrew and helicopter belonged to the Louisiana Army National Guard, Bourland said.

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The second helicopter landed safely, Bourland said. Names of the missing troops were being withheld pending notification of next of kin, said Bourland.

Further details were not immediately available.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Toby Chopra)