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Navy helicopter crashes in Imperial County desert; all 4 aboard survive, Navy says

A U.S. Navy helicopter crashed during a training mission in the Imperial County desert north of Yuma Thursday afternoon, the second military aircraft to go down in the area in two days, the Navy said.

All four crew members on board survived the crash, although one sustained injuries not considered life-threatening and was taken to a hospital, according to Cmdr. Zachary Harrell, a spokesperson for the San Diego-based Naval Air Forces command.

The MH-60S Seahawk helicopter is assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3, based at Naval Air Station North Island, Harrell said.

The crash was reported around 5 p.m. in the Palo Verde area south of Blythe, on the California-Arizona border, according to an alert posted on the Naval Air Facility El Centro Facebook page.

Harrell said the helicopter crashed and that the incident was not just a hard landing.

“It was a crash, and everybody survived,” he told the Union-Tribune late Thursday.

The incident comes just a day after a Marine Corps Osprey crashed near the Imperial County community of Glamis — about 40 miles west of where the Navy helicopter went down Thursday.

Five Camp Pendleton-based Marines were killed in that crash.

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