Military Aircraft Collide Off Hawaii

Honolulu Fire Department crews prepare to assist in a search-and-rescue mission Jan. 15, 2016, after two Marine helicopters collided in mid-air.

(CNN/KHON2) — Two military aircraft collided off the North Shore Oahu late Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Searchers have spotted a fire and a debris field, including an empty life raft, about 2½ miles north of Haleiwa Beach, according to Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers.

A total of 12 people were on board the two aircraft, Mooers said.

Initial calls came in around 11 p.m. in the waters off Kahaone Loop in Waialua.

The Honolulu Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, and the U.S. Coast Guard are responding to the area.

Witnesses in the area say they heard a loud boom over the water and saw a big flare in the sky.

The area is forecast to have 10 to 15-foot waves, with rapid building to 30 to 40 feet Friday morning.

CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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