1 dead, 3 injured in Marine helicopter in Oahu bay

AP News
Posted: Mar 30, 2011 5:21 PM
1 dead, 3 injured in Marine helicopter in Oahu bay

A Marine Corps helicopter crashed during an emergency landing in the shallow water of Hawaii's Kaneohe Bay, killing one Marine on board and injuring three others after they had set out on an evening training exercise, the military said Wednesday.

The CH-25D Sea Stallion helicopter crash east of Honolulu on Tuesday night was about two miles from Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The aircraft left the base for training around 7 p.m. and made a mayday call 20 minutes later, said Marine Corps spokeswoman 2nd Lt. Diann M. Olson.

The Marine who died was taken to Tripler Army Medical Center after being removed from the helicopter, and the crew member was pronounced dead by the state medical examiner, the Marine Corps said in a statement Wednesday.

Initial reports from the Marine Corps had indicated all four Marines onboard had survived.

The three injured Marines were taken to The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu. Two remain in critical condition, while the third is in stable condition. The military has not released the names of the four Marines who were on board the helicopter.

The Marines have placed containment booms around the crash site as a precaution, but said they haven't had a report of fluid leaking or loose ordnance.

The Coast Guard said it has set up a safe zone extending 500 yards around the helicopter to enable officials to safely remove the Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 aircraft from the bay. The helicopter is currently lying on its side.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the Army, the Honolulu Fire Department, and another Sea Stallion helicopter participated in the rescue.

Nearby residents heard the crash.

Glenn Pang of Kaneohe told Hawaii News Now he heard a big boom that sounded like thunder. About 10 to 15 minutes later he noticed an unusually large number of military helicopters circling above the bay.