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Search Is On For Crews Of 2 Marine Helicopters That Collided Near Oahu

In Hawaii, the Coast Guard is leading a large search for 12 service members who were believed to be aboard two Marine heavy-lift helicopters that collided overnight. The incident occurred off the coast of Oahu.

So far, there's no word of any potential surivors. We'll update this post with news as it emerges.

From Hawaii News Now:

"Responders are searching for survivors in a debris field north of Haleiwa, the Coast Guard said. The initial debris field was about a half mile offshore, but has drifted about 8 miles offshore as of 5:30 a.m. The search area is about 6 miles offshore and spans about 11 miles along the shoreline."

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters were from the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing that's based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. The unit specializes in moving troops and equipment "day or night under all weather conditions," according to its website.

In a notice posted on Facebook, Marine Corps Base Hawaii is asking members of the public to respect any cordoned-off areas and not to touch any debris that might come ashore.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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