2 soldiers killed, 3 hurt in Army training exercise off San Diego coast

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CORONADO (CNS) – Two soldiers were killed and three others were hurt during an Army aircraft training off the coast of San Diego, it was reported Friday.

The incident happened Thursday evening, a U.S. Army public affairs officer confirmed.

FOX 5 news partner San Diego Union-Tribune reports the soldiers were on a Blackhawk helicopter when it crashed on San Clemente Island.

A Defense Department official told the newspaper that the accident involved members of the Armyโ€™s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

An Army public affairs officer said in a statement: “An element of U.S. Army Special Operations Command was conducting routine training in the vicinity of Coronado, California, on August 27, when an aircraft incident occurred. Two Soldiers were killed and three were injured. The area has been secured and an investigation into the incident is underway. More information will be released 24-hours following next of kin notification. Our sincere condolences got out to the families and friends of the deceased. We thank you for not contacting them during this difficult time.”

No further details were immediately available Friday afternoon.

Thursday’s incident is the second fatal accident near San Clemente Island in the past month. The remains of seven U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor were recovered Aug. 7 after the military members went missing during a training mission near the island.

An amphibious troop-transport vehicle was en route to a waiting ship during a maritime training mission about 80 miles west of Encinitas when it foundered for unknown reasons about 5:45 p.m. July 30, according to Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of I MEF.

When the vessel started taking on water, some Marines were able to escape and were rescued, but others were trapped inside. Nine members of the 16-person crew were killed. 

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