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U.S. Marine Osprey aircraft with 5 aboard crashes in Southern California just north of Mexico border

The Desert Sun (Palm Springs) 6/9/2022 Sumiko Keil, Janet Wilson and Christopher Damien, Palm Springs Desert Sun
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An Osprey aircraft carrying five Marines crashed Wednesday in southeastern California just north of the Mexican border, military officials said.

There was no immediate information about casualties or damage to property on the ground due to the crash in Imperial County near Glamis, east of Brawley.

Naval Air Facility El Centro Public Affairs Officer Kristopher Haugh said the Imperial County Fire Department and firefighters from the base were responding to the crash, which happened around 12:25 p.m.

First Lt. Duane Kampa said that the downed aircraft was an MV-22B Osprey belonging to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton with Marine Aircraft Group 39. He said five Marines were onboard but did not have information on whether they survived.

The Osprey is an aircraft designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop airplane.

Ospreys can hold up to 24 people, but it was not clear how many were aboard. Ospreys, which cost about $84 million each, can take off vertically like a helicopter, then convert into "airplane mode" and fly up to 300 mph.

A military aircraft crashed Wednesday in southeastern California just north of the Mexican border, the Naval Air Facility El Centro said on its Facebook page. © Desert Sun photo illustration A military aircraft crashed Wednesday in southeastern California just north of the Mexican border, the Naval Air Facility El Centro said on its Facebook page.

Video: Small plane crashes in backyard of California home (The Desert Sun (Palm Springs))

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Naval Air Facility El Centro is 15 miles north of the Mexican border in the Imperial Valley. It is a two-hour drive from both San Diego and Palm Springs, and one hour from Yuma, Arizona.

The facility trains Navy pilots, as well as aviators from other branches of the military. 

The aircraft was initially reported to have gone down in the vicinity of Highway 78 and Coachella Canal Road. 

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, in San Diego, and provides the aviation combat element for the Marine Expeditionary Force.

Haugh said the aircraft was not carrying nuclear material, denying unsubstantiated reports on social media that it had been. 

It was the second military aircraft crash in Southern California in a week. 

A U.S. Navy fighter jet crashed in the Mojave Desert last week, killing the pilot.

The F/A-18E Super Hornet involved in the crash was based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. It crashed around 2:30 p.m. Friday near Trona, in San Bernardino County.

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: U.S. Marine Osprey aircraft with 5 aboard crashes in Southern California just north of Mexico border

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