Marines aboard crashed helicopter confirmed dead

ABC 6 NEWS — The Associated Press is reporting that the five marines that were aboard the helicopter that crashed in California earlier this week are confirmed dead.

Authorities say the CH-53E Super Stallion vanished late Tuesday night while returning to Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego. Crews battled rain and snow for a day trying to reach the helicopter, but there was no word on the condition of the troops in the aircraft until Thursday morning.

“It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing,” Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte said in a statement to the Associated Press. “To the families of our fallen Marines, we send our deepest condolences and commit to ensuring your support and care during this incredibly difficult time.”

The identities of the five marines have not yet been released.