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Two Dead, One Missing After Navy Helicopter Crashes Off Virginia Coast

The MH-53E helicopter is nearly 100 feet long and can travel at a speed of 172 miles per hour.
U.S. Navy
The MH-53E helicopter is nearly 100 feet long and can travel at a speed of 172 miles per hour.

Two U.S. Navy crewmembers are confirmed dead and another is missing after a U.S. Navy MH-53E helicopter carrying five people crashed off the coast of Norfolk, Va., on Wednesday morning in what the Navy is calling "an emergency water landing."

The deceased were among four crew members rescued from the water. According to the Navy's Twitter account, a search and rescue effort is underway to find the fifth person.

The rescued crew members were brought to the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, according to a report by WAVY.com. Capt. Todd Flannery told the Associated Press that the two surviving crew members are in stable condition.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. Navy policy dictates that the identity of the deceased will not be released until 24 hours after the victim's family has been notified.

While the weather was clear this morning over the Atlantic, the water temperature is a potentially life-threatening 40 degrees. A Coast Guard cutter and two helicopters are conducting the search for the missing crew member.

The MH-53E Sea Dragon is a heavy transport helicopter weighing more than 69,000 pounds and is used to perform mine countermeasures and to transport equipment to and from ships.

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