Official: 11 service members missing in Florida crash presumed d - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Official: 11 service members missing in Florida crash presumed dead

Posted: Updated:
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- A military official says the seven Marines and four soldiers aboard an Army helicopter that crashed over waters off Florida during a training mission are presumed dead.

The Pentagon official said Wednesday that the 11 service members are presumed dead and that the Coast Guard found debris in the water. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to speak on the record.

Andy Bourland, a spokesman for Elgin Air Force Base outside Pensacola, says the UH-60 Black Hawk from the Army National Guard was reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, and crews found debris around 2 a.m.

The seven Marines on board are part of a Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-based special operations group and the soldiers are from a Hammond, Louisiana-based National Guard unit, according to Eglin Air Force Base officials.

The Louisiana guardsmen are members of the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion.

The names of those involved have not been released, pending notification of their next of kin. A military official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to speak on the record, said they are presumed dead. A military spokeswoman in Florida said human remains had washed ashore.

The area was under a fog advisory Wednesday.

Officials say the helicopter went down in a pristine and remote stretch of beach that has been under control of Eglin Air Force Base since before World War II.

Only a small stretch of the beach is open to the public. The miles of glistening white sand beaches provide an important training and testing site for all branches of the military - from special forces who practice amphibious landings and invasion tactics to stealth fighter jets testing advanced weapons and guidance systems.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.