Sailor in Critical Condition after Struck By Spinning Helicopter Blade

Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom helicopter. (U.S. Army/Scott T. Sturkol)
Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom helicopter. (U.S. Army/Scott T. Sturkol)

A sailor attached to a Marine Corps aviation element is in the hospital after being struck by a helicopter blade Wednesday, the Marine Corps announced.

In a release sent Friday, approximately 48 hours after the incident, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing officials said the sailor, who was assigned to the wing, was hit by a spinning UH-1Y Venom tail rotor blade around 6:10p.m. Wednesday. The aircraft was on the ground at the time.

The incident took place aboard Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, according to the release. The sailor was transported to a local hospital, which was not identified.

Apart from the sailor's condition, listed as critical, no details were provided about the nature of the injuries sustained or what the sailor was doing at the time of the incident.

"An investigation has been initiated and no additional details are available at this time," officials said.

Injuries to troops on the ground working in close proximity with aircraft do happen, and highlight the risks associated with the job.

In 2016, eight sailors were injured when a tow cable snapped on deck of the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower during an E2C Hawkeye landing. In 2017, a Marine was killed and another injured when an MV-22 Osprey they were working on was struck by lightning on the flightline at New River, North Carolina.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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