Marines halt search for 8 missing troops, all presumed dead

SAN DIEGO — The Marine Corps says eight troops aboard a landing craft that sank off the Southern California coast during a training exercise are presumed dead.

The Marines announced Sunday they had called off the search that started late Thursday afternoon when the amphibious assault vehicle sank with seven Marines and one sailor aboard. Eight other Marines were rescued, but one later died and two are in critical condition.

The 26-ton, tank-like craft sank in hundreds of feet of water off San Clemente Island west of San Diego. The Marines were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Pendleton.

The Marines suspended waterborne operations of their more than 800 amphibious assault vehicles until the cause of the accident is determined.

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