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One dead in military helicopter crash off Virginia coast

Credit: Navy (stock image)

Credit: Navy (stock image)

NORFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Navy has confirmed that one crew member  is dead after a Navy helicopter went down Wednesday off the Virginia Beach coast.

Three other crew members were rescued and a search is under way for one more crew member, it said in a tweet.

A U.S. Navy spokesman said the helicopter was on a routine mission when the incident occurred off Norfolk, near Fort Story, where the temperature was hovering around freezing.

There were five people on board at the time.

The helicopter is an MH-53E, the Navy said on Twitter. It initially misidentified the craft as a CH-53E.

The MH-53E Sea Dragon carries no weapons. It has two pilots and a crew of one to six airmen, depending on its mission, according to the Navy. It is used to transport heavy equipment and supplies for amphibious assault.

There are 31 of the aircraft in operation, it said.