CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --One Marine died and five others were injured Wednesday when a helicopter crashed during training at Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps. officials said late Wednesday.
The Bell UH-1Y Huey chopper went down at about noon in a northern part of the base known as the San Mateo Area, south of its border with San Clemente, Calif., according to a Marine Corps press release.
There were six people aboard the helicopter when it went down, according to base officials. Three were taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital, but officials would not elaborate on their condition. Two others were treated elsewhere.
For hours, Camp Pendleton officials said they could not confirm or deny media reports that one person on the helicopter had died. Officials at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar eventually confirmed the death.
The helicopter was attached to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Miramar, officials said.
The accident sparked a small brush fire, according to Sgt. John Jackson, a Camp Pendleton spokesman. Emergency crews were able to extinguish the blaze before it got out of control, he said.
Wednesday's crash was the third fatal accident this year at Pendleton.
On Jan. 14, a 29-ton amphibious personnel carrier capsized and sank during maneuvers in Del Mar Boat Basin, killing Iraq war veteran Sgt. Wesley J. Rice, 27, of San Antonio, Texas. A combination of mechanical failures, training lapses and insufficient supervision was blamed for the accident.
On March 7, Navy Constructionman Mychael A. Flint, 21, of Fort Ann, N.Y., and Petty Officer Third Class Daniel M. Shirar, 27, of Baytown, Texas, were killed when the seven-ton military water-hauling truck they were in crashed during a training operation.