The Chinook helicopter operating out of Naval Air Facility El Centro was taking part in a routine training exercise about 1:30 p.m. Saturday 15 miles northeast of Yuma, said NAFEC Public Affairs Officer Michelle Dee. In the process of landing, the mishap occurred.
The cause of the incident was not known Saturday, and a formal investigation is set to take place, she said. The scene will remain secured while an investigation and aircraft recovery operations take place.
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As of 8 p.m. two of the seven on board had been seen and released from El Centro Regional Medical Center, said Kathleen Pipkin, the hospital’s director of public relations and special projects. The other five were still in the emergency room being treated for “non-life-threatening injuries.”
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