US Marine Corps suffers third aviation incident in less than 24 hours, 4 killed

In the third incident involving Marine Corps aircraft in less than 24 hours, a United States Marines Corps CH-53 helicopter was damaged late Tuesday while landing in the East African country of Djibouti, in the vicinity of Arta Beach, according to a spokesman for the US military.

The aircraft “sustained minor structural damage pending further assessment,” US Navy Cdr. Bill Urban, a spokesman for US Naval Forces Central Command.

Urban added the helicopter’s crew was uninjured in the incident.

The incident took place the same day another Marine Corps CH-53 crashed in the vicinity of Naval Air Facility El Centro in California, killing four crewmembers.

A Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II jet crashed Tuesday during take-off from Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport. The pilot was able to eject and is currently being treated.

Both the Harrier and the CH-53 that was damaged late Tuesday were participating in Alligator Dagger, a training exercise in international waters off the coast of Djibouti.

The United States has a large military presence in Djibouti based at Camp Lemonnier, where some 4,000 US personnel are stationed.

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