World

Military helicopters collide near Hawaiian island of Oahu, 12 missing

Two Marine helicopters collided off the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, according to reports.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers has said that each aircraft had six people aboard.

A file photo of a US Marines CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter. The US Coast Guard is searching for survivors after two ...
A file photo of a US Marines CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter. The US Coast Guard is searching for survivors after two Marine helicopters collided off Oahu.  Photo: AP

She says a debris field has been spotted off the coast.

There are no immediate signs of survivors.

Emergency teams arrived at the scene just after midnight local time to find burning wreckage in the water, a debris field and an empty life raft, about 4 kilometres off the island's coast, the Coast Guard told CBS News. The Marine Corps confirmed the search for two CH-53 helicopters on Twitter.

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The aircraft were reportedly from the Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. The search effort included a Navy helicopter, a Honolulu Fire Department chopper and rescue boat, CBS reports.

Initial reports of the crash came in around 11 pm local time with witnesses reporting hearing a loud boom and seeing a big flare-up in the sky, according to local TV station KHON2.

Rough weather has complicated the search. Waves in the area were expected to rapidly build to 9 to 12 metres by Friday morning.

There is no immediate word Friday on what caused the collision or if any survivors have been found.

Washington Post, AP