US military says ‘no nuclear material’ on board crashed plane
A military aircraft of unspecified type crashed on Wednesday in California’s Imperial County, about 30 miles north of the border with Mexico. Five people are presumed dead. Contrary to preliminary reports, there was no “nuclear material” aboard, Naval Air Facility El Centro has confirmed.
The authority did not disclose the type of aircraft that crashed but confirmed it belonged to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based in San Diego. The unit is currently taking part in exercises at a training range in Imperial County.
“Contrary to initial reports, there was no nuclear material on board the aircraft,” El Centro said.
An aircraft belonging to @3rdmaw has crashed near Glamis, CA. Military and civilian first responders are on site.Contrary to social media rumors, there was no nuclear material on board the aircraft. More information will be made available as we receive it.— U.S. Marines (@USMC) June 8, 2022
The Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma in nearby Arizona confirmed that there had been a crash but said it would provide more information later.
Local news stations reported on Wednesday afternoon that a military plane had come down near the community of Glamis, about 150 miles east of San Diego, citing the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office.
Media at the scene showed smoke rising over the desert. The area was marked by a sign reading “Danger: Military Training in Progress. Do Not Enter.”
We're getting our first look at the scene of the military plane crash in Imperial County, CA - 20 miles east of Brawley. Photos via our sister station KYMA. More: https://t.co/GLrnggrZc6pic.twitter.com/AkmXUSiN9A— Jake Ingrassia (@JakeKESQ) June 8, 2022
San Diego reporter Malik Earnest tweeted that the aircraft was “loaded with nuclear material with at least five people aboard.” He later added that Imperial County officials were assuming that all five had died.
The most recent post on MCAS Yuma’s Facebook page was on Tuesday, when it shared photos of a May 25 exercise in transporting ordnance. The aircraft shown in the photos is an MV-22B Osprey, the tilt-rotor plane operated by the Marines, which has had a controversial safety history.
Four Marines were killed in March when their Osprey went down in northern Norway during NATO drills. Another four died in incidents in Australia in 2017 and in Hawaii in 2015.