- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Trace elements of DNA have been found from U.S. Marines killed in a helicopter crash off Hawaii last month, the Marine Crops said Tuesday.

Twelve Marines were killed in the crash, making it one of the worst U.S. military training mishaps in the past 10 years. 

DNA traces were found during a search and rescue operation that ended Jan 19., Capt. Cassandra Gesecki, a spokeswoman for the III Marine Expeditionary Force, said in a statement. 

The families of the identified Marines were notified. The Marine Corps would not provide further information about what evidence was found, Capt. Gesecki said, The Associated Press reported.

The statement added that none of the 12 Marines killed in the Jan. 14 incident have been recovered.

The 12 Marines, whose ages range from 21 to 41, were aboard two CH-53E “stallion” helicopters conducting a nighttime training mission off the island of Oahu at the time of the crash.

It was initially reported that the two choppers collided, but the cause of the crash is still being investigated.

Rough weather following the crash has hampered recovery and salvage operations, which officials say could take several months to complete.

On Monday, the Marine Corps said the helicopter squadron’s commander had been fired days before the crash after his superiors had lost confidence in the commander’s ability to lead.


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