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Crashed military helicopter found in Gulf of Mexico; no survivors expected

No expected survivors from apparent military helicopter crash in the Gulf of Mexico

The Black Hawk helicopter that vanished in fog off the Florida coast during a routine training mission with seven Marines and four Army soldiers on board has been found, authorities said Thursday.

There are no expected survivors from the apparent crash in the Gulf of Mexico, said Col. Monte Cannon, test wing vice commander at Eglin Air Force base, where the flight originated. The Black Hawk was reported missing about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"We are not hopeful for survivors, and we're transitioning our search and rescue to a recovery effort," he said. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family members and the units where our soldiers and Marines call home."

The Coast Guard said it had suspended its search and rescue effort after having "continuously searched for more than 36 hours in a 94-square-mile area."

The Marines were from the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, known as MARSOC, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The others were from a Hammond, La.-based Army National Guard unit. Their names will be released after families are notified.

The military did not immediately know why the helicopter disappeared, but officials noted that a dense fog had enveloped the region at the time of the crash and impeded early search efforts.

By Wednesday afternoon, remains were found washed ashore along the Florida panhandle coastline.

A salvage unit has been sent to recover debris that has been found.

Times staff writer Lauren Raab contributed to this report.

Follow @wjhenn for military and defense info.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

12:25 p.m.: This post has been updated to add that the Coast Guard has suspended its search and rescue effort.

The first version of this post was published at 10:55 a.m.

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