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U.S. Navy chopper down off Virginia, four of five aboard rescued

Source: Reuters - Wed, 8 Jan 2014 18:38 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Adds details from Navy statement)

WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy helicopter went down off the Virginia coast on Wednesday, and four of the five people aboard have been rescued, the military said.

The MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter was on a training flight when it went into the Atlantic Ocean near Fort Story, about 150 miles (240 km) south of Washington, the Navy said in a statement.

A Coast Guard cutter and two helicopters were dispatched to the crash site. Four people were rescued and flown to a hospital in Norfolk, and the extent of injuries was unknown, it said.

None of the crew has been identified. The cause of the crash is under investigation, the statement said.

Coast Guard spokesman Nyx Cangemi said the service received a report about 11 a.m. ET (1600 GMT) that the aircraft had gone down about 20 miles (32 km) east of Cape Henry, Virginia.

"We are searching for the remaining helicopter crew member," he said.

The helicopter was part of a anti-mine squadron based at Norfolk, Virginia.

(Reporting by Lacey Johnson; Editing by Ian Simpson, Chizu Nomiyama and Cynthia Osterman)

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