An MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing went down Wednesday afternoon in the Southern California desert, military officials said.
Military and civilian crash and fire personnel from the local area are on the scene of the crash and the status of the crew is unknown. An Osprey usually carries a crew of three to five people, depending on the mission.
“We can confirm that an aircraft belonging to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing crashed near Glamis, CA. Military and civilian first responders are on site,” wing officials said in a statement.
Flight trackers showed a Navy CMV-22B was conducting search and rescue operations over the crash site while local television showed Navy MH-60 Sea Hawks in the area.
The crash happened about 12:25 p.m. West Coast time, 1st Lt. Duane Kampa, a 3rd MAW spokesman, said by phone from Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego, Calif. The area around Glamis, northeast of El Centro and northwest of Yuma, Ariz., is a sandy, desert area that’s popular with offroaders.
A regional aerial reporter, Malik Earnest, had posted on Twitter that “preliminary reports” indicate the Osprey had nuclear material” aboard, and an online Broadcastify.com notice said an alert was issued for “radioactive material” on the aircraft was loaded.
But military officials those reports of nuclear or radioactive materials were in error. “Contrary to initial reports, there was no nuclear material on board the aircraft. More information will be made available as we receive it,” wing officials said in the statement.
“There were some initial reporting that there were nuclear materials was on the aircraft, but that’s not true,” Kampa said.
In March, an MV-22B crashed in Norway during a training exercise killing four.