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Military helicopter crashes in Florida; 11 missing

Seven Marines and four soldiers are missing Wednesday after an Army helicopter crashed at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.

Search and rescue was launched after one of two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters participating in a routine nighttime training mission crashed, according to Eglin spokesman Andy Bourland.

Bourland said the Marines are part of a Camp Lejeune-based special operations group and the soldiers are with the 1-244th Helo Assault Battalion.

"At this time all are missing," Bourland said.

The names of those involved have not been released.

The helicopter was reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and search and rescue crews found debris from the crash around 2 a.m. Wednesday, Bourland said.

The area where the crash happened Tuesday night was under a fog advisory.

Search and rescue efforts are still underway at the site of the crash — a remote swath of beach between Pensacola and Destin. The area was still extremely foggy Wednesday morning, which was affecting the search, Eglin public affairs specialist Sara Vidoni said.

The beach is owned by the military and is used for test missions.

A second helicopter — those taking part were UH-60 aircraft — involved in the night training exercise returned to the base safely, the military said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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