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Search continues for missing Marine who fell from Osprey aircraft

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Search crews are using search and rescue dogs, ATV and radar tracks to find a missing Marine after he fell from an Osprey aircraft during a training flight last night.

A Marine Corps spokesman says it happened around 6:30 p.m. north of White Lake near the Bladen-Sampson County line. Bladen County dispatchers say the search is back on this morning after efforts were suspended around 2 a.m.

According to a USMC news release, crews are searching for a 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Marine who fell from an MV-22B Osprey aircraft about 45 miles west of Marine Corps Air Station New River near Clear Run School Road.

During a news conference this morning, USMC Lt. Col. Christian Harshberger said that everyone on board the Osprey had a restraint system. He said the crew of the Osprey noticed while still in flight that the Marine was no longer on board. Harshberger said the search will continue until the missing Marine, whose name has not yet been released, is found.

Bladen County Fire Marshal Bradley Kinlaw said Bladen and Sampson County emergency units are helping military crews in the search.

Searchers started this morning at Turtle Cove on the west bank of White Lake and headed toward Autrytown Road. They say the search area includes several blueberry fields and Carolina Bays. That means crews will have to deal with thick, marshy areas, which could make the search difficult, Kinlaw said.

Kinlaw says the Osprey crew was doing touch and go training at the airport in Elizabethtown, when the crew noticed the Marine missing near Maple Bay about five miles from White Lake.

Stay with WWAY for more on this developing story.

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