US & Canada

Search called off for US Navy helicopter crash victim

The MH-53E Sea Dragon (file photo) Image copyright US Navy
Image caption The MH-53E Sea Dragon is used to search for seaborne mines and also for heavy-lift missions

Authorities have called off the search for a sailor missing since a Navy helicopter crashed off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, on Wednesday.

It brings the presumed death toll to three. Two of the five crew members from the US Navy MH-53E, on a routine training mission, died in hospital.

Two survivors continued to receive treatment, officials said.

The cause of the crash, which occurred 18 nautical miles (33km) off the Virginia coast, remains unknown.

Coast Guard vessels and Navy helicopters searched the 6C (42F) waters overnight and on Thursday morning before suspending the search for the missing fifth crew member.

"We're not actively looking, but we have an on-the-scene presence," said Capt John Little, Coast Guard section commander, told the Associated Press news agency.

The downed helicopter - typically used in deliveries and in mine countermeasures - was assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 (HM-14).

The same model of helicopter crashed in 2012 in Oman, killing two Navy crew members.

Norfolk, Virginia, is an important hub for the US military, and is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval complex in the world.

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