Nine people are missing after a US coast guard Lockheed Martin C-130 transport aircraft collided with a US Marine Corp Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter off the southern California coast.

The incident took place around 19:10 local time, according to news reports. There were seven people on board the C-130 and two on the helicopter, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a fireball in the sky when the accident happened. Rescuers were combing the area where the collision occurred and some debris had been sighted, according to the reports.

Source: Flight International