Heavy snow makes it challenging to reach Marine helicopter that crashed with 5 aboard

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SAN DIEGO — Rescuers were battling heavy snow Wednesday to reach a Marine Corps helicopter carrying five troops that went down in the mountains outside San Diego.

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter — the largest helicopter in the military, designed to fly in harsh conditions — had gone missing as an historic storm dumped heavy snow and record rain over California.

Civilian authorities searching on ground and by air located the aircraft just after 9 a.m. Wednesday near the mountain community of Pine Valley, about a 45-mile drive from San Diego, but snowy conditions were making it challenging to gain access on the ground, officials said.

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