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Bodies of Missing Servicemembers Recovered After Helicopter Crash

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2006 – Coalition forces have recovered the bodies of all three missing servicemembers lost during an emergency water landing by a helicopter yesterday.

A U.S. Marine Corps CH-46 helicopter from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing made an emergency water landing near the shore of Lake Qadisiyah in western Anbar province. Sixteen personnel were on board, including the crew.

Thirteen of the individuals on board were accounted for yesterday, including the body of one Marine who was recovered from the water after the emergency landing.

The rescue effort included all available surveillance and rescue capabilities to include air, amphibious and joint pararescue teams, U.S. officials said.

“We have recovered all of our comrades,” Marine Lt. Col Bryan Salas said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased.”

Initial reports confirm the helicopter experienced mechanical difficulties and executed an emergency landing. The incident was not a result of enemy action.

The names of the service members who died are being held pending notification of next of kin.

(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)

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Multinational Corps Iraq

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