A U.S. Marine helicopter apparently caught fire on the end of a runway at Imperial County Airport Thursday afternoon.
According to reports the CH53 helicopter was engulfed in thick black smoke when attempting to take off. The crew was able to evacuate the aircraft and all are accounted for. Imperial County Fire Department was on the scene with the airport crash truck and covered the helicopter with foam. Firefighters and emergency personnel stood by the site to ensure no other problems.
The CH53E Super Stallion has been in use by the Marines since the early 1980's. It is used for troop transport and heavy lifting. In April 0f 2018 a CH53 crashed near Plaster City and 4 marines lost there lives in that accident.