A Waialua resident reported hearing helicopters passing overhead, then saw a fireball

By Tara Fowler
Updated January 15, 2016 11:35 AM
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Two U.S. Marine helicopters carrying a total of 12 passengers collided in mid-air off the coast of Hawaii late Thursday evening, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

A Waialua resident reported hearing helicopters passing overhead, then saw a fireball, Hawaii News Now reports.

Rescuers have found a burning debris field in the water and at least one empty life raft, but thus far there’s no sign of any survivors, officials said. The rescue efforts have been complicated by darkness and high seas.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, though weather appears not to have been a factor. According to the Weather Channel, there were light winds and just scattered showers in the area at the time.

The two helicopters, each of which was carrying six people, are from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing from Marine Corps Base Hawaii.