Search and rescue crews are looking for a missing military helicopter carrying five Marines, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) said Wednesday.
The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter in question departed from Creech Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on Tuesday night, and was headed to Miramar, near San Diego, California, before it went missing, ABC News reported.
The chopper, along with its crew, were “reported overdue” to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar later that same night, prompting USMC to request help from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDCSD) and Civil Air Patrol.
The sheriff’s department said it sent their own chopper out to search after receiving a call at 1:50 a.m., but a storm hitting the area prevented it from reaching the area.
SDCSD said it has now sent off-road vehicles to help search through the difficult terrain.
Firefighters are also assisting with the search efforts “in the area north of Interstate 8 & Kitchen Creek Road, located southeast of Pine Valley,” announced the San Diego jurisdiction of the California Forestry and Fire Protection.
.@CALFIRESANDIEGO firefighters are assisting with search efforts for a military helicopter reported missing in the area north of Interstate 8 & Kitchen Creek Road, located southeast of Pine Valley. Multiple agencies are searching the area covered in snow making it hard to access. pic.twitter.com/Y3oxNz75Pg
— CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire (@CALFIRESANDIEGO) February 7, 2024
“Multiple agencies are searching the area covered in snow making it hard to access,” the department wrote on X Wednesday morning.
Additional official services were requested to the scene after nothing was found in the forest near the U.S.-Mexico border, including the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Border Patrol, and California Civil Air Patrol.
The five missing Marines were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, Third Marine Aircraft Wing, USMC told CBS News.