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4 marines killed in helicopter crash Southern California

FILE - In this Saturday Oct. 10, 2009, file photo, a U.S. military helicopter - AP
Four marines were killed in a helicopter crash during a desert landings practice in Southern California, the Miramar air station in San Diego said Wednesday.

The Marines took off from a ground-combat center in the city of Twentynine Palms for the routine training mission on Tuesday.

The massive CH-53E Super Stallion crashed about 100 miles to the south in a remote desert area just outside of El Centro, near the U.S.-Mexico border. There were no survivors.

Practicing desert landings is a routine part of training, said Capt. Morgan Frazer with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

The cause of the crash is under investigation and could take months to determine.

Weather doesn't appear to be a factor.