Two Marine helicopters with 12 air crew on board were involved in a mid-air collision off the coast of Hawaii, U.S. military officials tell NBC News.
The helicopters carried air crew and no passengers were aboard, Irish said. They were conducting "routine nighttime flying" and failed to return to base, he said. There was no distress call, officials said.
"This is still an active search and rescue operation," Capt. Tim Irish of Marine Corps Base Hawaii told reporters Friday afternoon.
The two CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters were conducting a nighttime training mission at the time of the accident. The crash happened off the coast of Haleiwa, located on the North Shore of Oahu.
Crews are searching an area seven miles offshore that stretches from Mokule'ia Beach to Turtle Bay, the Coast Guard said.
Coast Guard rescuers spotted a burning debris field in the water and at least one empty life raft, but so far have found no sign of any survivors. Rescue efforts were hampered by high seas, officials said.
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