Two U.S. Marine Corps helicopters crashed off Oahu, Hawaii’s North Shore late Thursday, according to local reports. The Marines confirmed on Twitter the aircraft involved were 2 CH-53s from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st MAW in Hawaii. There were reportedly 12 passengers on board between the two aircraft (six on each).
Initial reports say the aircraft might have been involved in a midair collision, based on witness accounts. The U.S. Coast Guard, the Honolulu Fire Department and the U.S. Navy are assisting in the investigation and search for the passengers. According to a report, searchers found a fire and a 1.5-mi-long debris field with an empty life raft.