Aviation News

July 22, 2012

Two US Sailors Missing in Oman Helicopter Crash Declared Dead

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Written by: BNO News
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Map of Oman. (Map by Google)

Two American service members who were missing since a helicopter belonging to the U.S. Navy crashed in northern Oman last week have been declared deceased, the U.S. Department of Defense said on Saturday, while releasing the sailors’ identities.

The accident happened on Thursday when the MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter crashed 58 miles (93 kilometers) southwest of Muscat, the capital of Oman, while conducting heavy lift support operations. The aircraft was assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron (HM) 15 which is based at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.

The aircraft was carrying five crew members, of whom three were recovered shortly after the accident and taken to a local hospital for unspecified injuries. The two other crew members remained missing and were pronounced deceased on Saturday following an extensive search of the wreckage and the surroundings of the crash site.

A spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command was unable to say whether any remains were recovered, or what caused the accident. The command previously said the cause of the crash remains under investigation, although it ruled out hostile activity as a possible cause.

The two fatalities were identified as 40-year-old Senior Chief Aviation Warfare Systems Operator Sean P. Sullivan, of St. Louis, Missouri, and 31-year-old Naval Aircrewman Second Class Joseph P. Fitzmorris, of West Monroe, Louisiana. Other details about the victims were not immediately released.

The Sultanate of Oman, with a population of more than 2.7 million people, is located in southwest Asia on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

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