Osprey military aircraft carrying five Marines crashes in California

Osprey military aircraft carrying five Marines crashes in California

An Osprey aircraft carrying five Marines crashed near Glamis, Calif., located just north of the Mexican border, at about 12:25 pm local time on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the 3rd Marine Air Wing — the California-based unit which was responsible for the Osprey — declined to comment on potential fatalities. Military and civilian first responders are at the crash site, he said.

“We ask for the public’s patience as we work diligently with first responders and the unit to identify what occurred this afternoon,” the Marines said in an emailed statement.

The Marines denied posts circulating on social media that asserted the aircraft may have been carrying nuclear material. “There was no nuclear material on board the aircraft,” the Marines said.

Osprey aircraft, used by the US and Japanese militaries, take off and land vertically like helicopters, but fly like airplanes. The MV-22B — which combines the flexibility of a chopper that can operate in diverse environments, with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft — is primarily used to transport troops and equipment in support of amphibious assaults.

But the aircraft’s safety record has been under scrutiny. In March, an Osprey crashed during NATO exercises in Norway, killing four American service members.