A U.S. Marine was killed and nine others injured Wednesday evening after a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter suffered a hard landing during an exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to a Marine Corps Media Advisory that was released via email Thursday. Of the nine Marines who were injured, four were taken to hospital. One was seriously injured, and three were in a stable condition.
The identity of the Marine that died in the hard landing will be released once next of kin have been informed. A total of 16 Marines were on the aircraft when it suffered the heavy landing at around 9 p.m. local time.
“One service member was transferred [to the hospital] via air MEDEVAC and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Seven service members were treated initially at NHCL; six have been evaluated and are scheduled for release, while one has been admitted and is in stable condition, according to the Media Advisory. “Additionally, three service members were transferred to Onslow Memorial Hospital and are in stable condition. One service member is in transit to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, [North Carolina]. ”
1 Marine killed, 9 hurt in helicopter hard landing http://t.co/BvHK4eCVaU
— Betsy Eynouf (@eeynouf) September 3, 2015
The aircraft belonged to the Heavy Helicopter Squadron-464, Marine Aircraft group-29, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Between 1969 and 1990, more than 200 service personnel have been killed flying inside either the CH-53A, CH-53D or CH-53E, according to an Associated press Report from 2008. The CH53-E helicopter that crashed Wednesday suffered accidents that led to 27 deaths between 1984 and 2008, making it the helicopter most prone to accidents in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
Over that 24-year period, the rate of accidents that were classed as Class A mishaps, meaning serious damage or loss of life, was 5.96 per 100,000 flight hours, more than twice the Navy helicopter average of 2.26.
The U.S. Marines said in the media advisory that the incident is “under investigation,” and “no additional detail is available at this time. ”