U.S. Navy helicopter crashes in Gulf of Mexico; four missing

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A U.S. Navy helicopter with six people on board crashed in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning. Two crew members were rescued from a raft and four were missing.

Several Coast Guard and Navy craft, including three helicopters, a jet and a patrol boat and the USS Gladiator minesweeper, searched for the missing crew members Thursday afternoon.

The two injured were taken to Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi. Their precise condition was not immediately known, but Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jan Johnson said the injuries were ''critical enough to warrant being transported directly to a hospital.''

The crew was aboard an H-53 helicopter that crashed about 11 a.m. some 15 nautical miles (roughly 17 miles) offshore, Johnson said. They were from the HM-15 squadron, which is based at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, and typically takes part in mine-sweeping operations.


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