23 U.S. marines hurt in helicopter crash in Australia

Some 23 US Marines were injured when a helicopter crashed during an exercise in northern Australia on Sunday, according to Australia’s Defense Ministry.

The V-22 Osprey with 20 US Marines on board crashed off the coast of Darwin, Sky News Australia reported.

“Initial reports suggest … Australian Defense Force members were not involved,” the ministry said in an email.

It said the accident occurred on Melville Island, north of Darwin, during the Exercise Predator’s Run 2023.

“Those injured are 23 US Marine Corps soldiers, and we are doing everything we can to return them safely back to Darwin for treatment,” Northern Australia Police Commissioner Michael Murphy was quoted as saying by the Australia Broadcasting Company.

He added that five Marines were returned to Darwin for treatment with the remaining being triaged at the scene.

One of the injured is in critical condition, he said.

Five are currently receiving treatment at Royal Darwin Hospital,

There was no immediate word on the cause of the accident.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the crash as a “regrettable incident.”

“Our focus as a government and as the Department of Defense is very much on incident response and on making sure that every support and assistance is given at this difficult time,” he said.

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