A Marine Corps helicopter has crashed in Imperial County, and the entire crew is presumed dead.
The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing went down near El Centro around 2:35 p.m. Tuesday during what officials called a routine training mission.
The four crew members are presumed dead pending positive identification, according to a statement emailed to the San Diego Union-Tribune by Marine spokeswoman Capt. Morgan Frazer at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
The cause of the crash was under investigation. The names of the dead were withheld pending notification of their families, which typically takes about 24 hours.
Marine officials also were withholding the name of the crew’s squadron and the base from which it flew, but promised more details in the coming hours.