Marine Corps Osprey aircraft crashes in Southern California desert

A Marine Corps Osprey crashed in the Southern California desert Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

How many people were on board and their statuses weren't immediately available. The MV-22B Osprey aircraft belongs to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, First Lt. Duane Kampa said by email.

Military officials said reports of nuclear material on board the aircraft were false.

The crash was reported near Glamis, an area about 150 miles east of San Diego known for its desert sand dunes and other off-road attractions, Naval Air Facility El Centro said.

Military firefighters and the Imperial County Fire Department were responding, it said.

The Osprey — which can take off and land like a helicopter, but fly like an airplane thanks to its "tiltrotor" engines — has had a troubled history over the two decades it has been flying in U.S. military training exercises and missions.

In March, an Osprey crashed during training exercises with NATO allies in Norway, killing four U.S. Marines. The accident took place during extreme winter conditions.

Even though the Osprey was involved in crashes that killed more than 30 people before it went into service in 2007, the Marine Corps has stood behind the vehicle as relatively safe and effective.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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