At least one Marine was killed and eight other service members went missing on Friday morning after a serious assault vehicle “accident” off the coast of Southern California, the Eye Marine Expeditionary Force confirmed Friday morning.
Two other people were injured in the incident, officials said in a Twitter message.
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The Navy and Coast Guard are conducting a joint search-and-rescue operation for the missing service members, all assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, headquartered at Camp Pendleton near San Diego.
Coast Guard cutters, four warships and four helicopters continued their search for more than 10 hours, but the marines have not yet been found.
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“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. I ask that you keep our Marines, sailors and their families in our prayers as we search for us,” Col. Christopher Bronzi, Commanding Officer of 15 MEU said in a statement.
Amphibious assault vehicles are armored and able to land from water.
Marines at the AAV reported that the vehicle started taking water during a routine exercise at around 5:45 Thursday evening.
Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.