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Oct 30, 2009 9:09 AM by Associated Press

9 missing after Coast Guard plane, Marine helicopter collide

The Coast Guard tells federal officials it has spotted debris that could be from a Coast Guard plane that crashed into a Marine Corps helicopter in mid-air.

The Navy and Coast Guard are searching the waters off Southern California's coast for the nine people who were believed to be on board the aircraft. The crash was reported about 15 miles east of San Clemente Island.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says a pilot reported seeing a fireball near where the crash site is believed to be.

Ian Gregor says seven were on board the Coast Guard plane and two were on the Marine Corps chopper. Gregor says it appears the crash was between a Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra and a Coast Guard C-130 transport plane.

A search and rescue mission is under way.

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