7 US Marines Perish in Helicopter CollisionWorld | February 23, 2012, Thursday // 17:03| views
Seven US marines have been killed in a collision of two helicopters near Yuma, Arizona, during night training exercises, the Marine Corps said Thursday.
Lt. Maureen Dooley with Miramar Air Base in California said the service members with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing were based at Camp Pendleton north of San Diego.
The crash Wednesday evening involved an AH-1W "Cobra" and UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, she said. The aircraft collided in a remote portion of the Yuma Training Range Complex, international media reported.
Capt. Staci Reidinger, director of public affairs at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma said earlier Thursday that the crash happened west of the Chocolate Mountains in California, though the exact location hasn't been confirmed.
Several accidents have happened in the past year involving Marine Corps training in Southern California.
In September, a helicopter went down during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, killed the two marines onboard and set off a fast-moving brush fire at Camp Pendleton.
In August, two marines were ejected from their F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet as it plunged toward the Pacific Ocean. The two Marines spent four hours in the dark, chilly ocean before they were rescued. Both suffered broken but survived.
In July, a decorated marine from western New York was killed during a training exercise when his UH-1Y helicopter went down in a remote section of Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.