|English: PERSIAN GULF (April 16, 2007) - An MH-53E Sea Dragon assigned to Helicopter Mine Counter Measure Squadron (HM) 15 conducts a mine sweeping exercise. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Edward G. Martens (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The helicopter, which was assigned to Helicopter Countermeasure Squadron-15, crashed 58 miles (about 92 kilometers) southwest of Muscat, Oman, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a news release.
It said the crash was not caused by hostile activity, and the cause of the accident was under investigation.
The status of the five crew members was "still being determined, " as another MH-53E helicopter assigned to the same squadron was on the scene to provide search and rescue assistance, the release added.
Lt. Greg Raelson, a spokesman for the Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, gave no immediate word on the fate of the crew. But an Omani air force official said three of them have been found so far and are being treated in a hospital.