Two soldiers killed, 13 injured in two separate military helicopter incidents

Hard landings in Colorado and North Carolina on Wednesday resulted in two deaths and multiple injuries.

Lenny Ignelzi/AP/File
A Marine Corps CH-53E helicopter sits in the sand where it made an emergency landing in Solana Beach, Calif., April 15. One Marine has been killed and 9 others were hurt when a helicopter made a hard landing at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Wednesday night.

One Marine has been killed and 11 others were hurt when a helicopter made a hard landing at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, the Marines said on Thursday.

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter came down hard during a training exercise around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Capt. Ryan Elizabeth Alvis said in a statement.

The name of the Marine killed will not be released for 24 hours, which follows US Marine Corps protocol. The names of the other eight Marines, which suffered minor injuries, have also not been released. Captain Alvis said the landing is under investigation, but declined to comment further.

Also on Wednesday, two soldiers were injured in a different hard landing incident near Denver, Colo. No fatalities were reported in that incident and the military officials say the wounded soldiers' injuries are not life threatening.

The two accidents are the most recent in a string of several that have occurred during military training exercises over the past year. In January, a helicopter went down at the Twentynine Palms base in California, killing two people. Wing commander Maj. Gen. Michael Rocco said in a statement regarding those fatalities: "Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the two Marines we lost in this tragic accident."

In March, Reuters reported that 11 Marines were presumed dead in a helicopter crash off the coast of Florida. An anonymous US military official told Reuters that that incident could possibly have been “among the deadliest domestic military training accidents in years.” 

In May, NPR reported that one Marine was killed during a training exercise in Hawaii. The death occurred during an exercise involving an Osprey aircraft. Following initial development by Boeing in 2000, Ospreys were deployed in the Iraq and Afghan wars, and were also used this past spring during aid missions to Nepal.

In June, The Christian Science Monitor compiled a rundown of military aircraft accidents in the first six months of 2015.

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

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