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2 Dead in Navy Chopper Crash in Virginia

Another crew member remains missing at sea
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2014 11:32 AM CST
Updated Jan 8, 2014 7:19 PM CST
Navy Chopper Goes Down Off Virginia Coast
A photo provided by the US Navy shows an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, MC2 Blake Midnight)

A Navy helicopter went down this morning about 18 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, reports the Virginian-Pilot. The Navy confirms that the chopper, a Sea Dragon, was one of two on a training mission and had to make an emergency landing in the water. Four of the five crew members were rescued, but two died later at the hospital. Another is in serious condition. The last member of the crew still has not been found, and the Navy and Coast Guard planned to search through the night.

Sea Dragons are used mainly in heavy-lifting operations and in clearing mines from shipping lanes, notes the Pilot; the Navy has only 29 left, as they had been scheduled to be eliminated in the mid-2000s. Meanwhile, NBC reports that yesterday's helicopter crash in England, which killed four US servicemen, spread hazardous debris across "difficult terrain" in an area the size of a soccer field. (More Navy stories.)

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