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Marine helicopters collide at Camp Lejeune; 14 dead

Crash map

May 10, 1996
Updated at: 3:40 p.m. EDT

CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina (CNN) -- Fourteen U.S. servicemen were killed Friday morning when two U.S. Marine helicopters collided during massive U.S.-British war games.

Camp Lejeune spokesman Maj. Steve Little said a CH-46 Sea Knight and an AH-1 Cobra collided in a wooded area on the base at about 2 a.m. Twelve Marines, a Navy sailor and an Army soldier were killed.

CH-46 Sea Knight

Little said the Cobra had a two-man crew, and the CH- 46 had 14 people aboard, including a crew of four. The pilots of the CH-46 were the only survivors. One was in critical condition, the other escaped with minor injuries.

Over 50,000 military personnel from Britain and the U.S. are participating in the war games.

AH-1 Cobra

There have been nine Marine Corps aircraft crashes in 1996 -- the highest number of major accidents for that branch of the service in six years. The Corps suspended non-essential flight operations for two days in March to review safety rules.

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