CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Navy helicopter's crash during a training mission killed three crew members and injured a fourth, a Navy spokesman said Thursday.
The injured crew member was taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial, where he was listed in critical condition, said Ed Mickley, a spokesman for the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command.
The Navy MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopter was part of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 out of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Mickley said. It went down Wednesday night in a farmer's field about 4 miles south of Corpus Christi, he said.
J.D. Batten, who lives about two miles from the crash site, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times he was walking near his property's front gate when he heard a helicopter overhead.
"Suddenly I saw a red-glowing fireball shoot hundreds of feet up into the air," he said. "I heard a giant boom a second later. It was then dead silent and I couldn't hear the helicopter anymore."
Lt. Sean Robertson, a spokesman for NAS Corpus Christi, told the Caller-Times the crash happened during heavy fog. The newspaper said downed power lines hindered the efforts of the first rescuers.
The crash caused a fire, but firefighters extinguished the flames.