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Helicopter Crashes at North Island; 4 People Hospitalized

Coronado fire department is assisting with rescue efforts, police say. Dispatches from emergency responders indicate their injuries are not life threatening.

Updated, 1:55 a.m. Thursday, with details from North Island officials.

Coronado Police have confirmed that a helicopter was involved in an accident at North Island Naval Air Station late Wednesday, and said they have not been called in for aid, but a battalion chief from the fire department was on scene.

North Island officials called the 11 p.m. incident “a hard landing” involving a Navy MH-60R helicopter and said the activity had been part of a routine training session.

The details were provided as part of a 1:35 a.m. news release.

The officials said four HSM-75 crew members were operating the aircraft. Two were taken to UCSD Medical Center and two to Scripps Mercy.

The Navy did not provide an update on their conditions, but a scanner-monitoring service reported that the injuries suffered by those involved in the crash are not considered critical or life threatening.

An investigation is being conducted into the cause of the crash.

Conflicting information was released in the wake of the crash via media and other Navy officials.

Some reports, including those by U-T San Diego and CBS8, indicate live ammunition may have been aboard the helicopter though the scanner monitor noted that by midnight first responders said none had been found. 

A Navy spokesman also told U-T San Diego that the injured were taken to San Diego Naval Medical Center, not the two hospitals that North Island officials cited.

Early reports of the crash indicated that the aircraft had hit a building. According to recent broadcasts over the police and fire bands, everything west of the North Island control tower is closed, and base command is considering closing the entire airfield.

North Island officials did not comment in their release on whether operations at the airfield had resumed.

More than 150 helicopters are based at NAS North Island, the Navy's West Coast Master Helicopter Base, according to the Department of Defense.

NAS North Island helicopter squadrons train at Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach.

According to militaryaerospace.com the MH-60R Seahawk is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission helicopter based on the UH-60 Black Hawk and can be armed with Mk-54 torpedoes and Hellfire missiles. 

AvEverything December 15, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Dude I work at North Island the ops these pilots and AWs do are critical to your safety and well being. Stop being a bitch and shut up you are clueless as to what you are talking about
AvEverything December 15, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Dude you are clueless. Stop embarrassing yourself.
S.L. York December 19, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I have flown over NOLF Imperial Beach. It is highly impractical for them to move all of the operations to the southern portion of the field. There just isn't enough room. Compound that with the reality that the base is about as close as you can get to Mexico. As an American pilot if I were to fly into Mexico, I could see some truly righteous fines. As a military pilot, that would be akin to an act of aggression.
Andy Arciga December 19, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Brendon O'Conner,Your info is a little dated. There are two runways,a north runway and a south runway. The Navy also built several hover pads on the northwest corner of NOLF. When they do tandem touch and go's along w/hover exercises,the noise level can be overwhelming. S.L.York,I'm not advocating moving all the operations to the south side,just move some of the activity there. BTW,You are not that close to Mexico on the south side. You're probably a couple of miles away. The border being well defined,I find it hard to believe a trained Naval pilot would stray into Mexico.
Linda Faye December 27, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Got Freedom? I rest my case. Sincerely, The mother of one of the crew members.

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