USA military planes collide off coast of Japan

06 December, 2018, 05:42 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • FILE Two US Marine aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan the US Marine Corps announced Wednesday in a statement

Six American warplane crew members are missing after two aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Japan's south-western coast in a midair collision.

Anonymous US officials said they were unsure how the mishap may have occurred, but none suspected foul play.

"Extremely thankful and grateful for our Japanese Self Defense Force partners and their help in the search and recovery efforts", the III Marine Expeditionary Force's public affairs section wrote on its official Twitter account.

A search and rescue operation was underway off the coast of Japan after two Marine Corps aircraft crashed, military officials said.

U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is located in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and is home to the sole forward-deployed Marine squadron of F-35 stealth fighter jets.

A crash may have occurred mid-air during the refuelling but this is unconfirmed.

It is unclear whether USA military officials are also assisting with the search.


No other details were provided.

Five marines were reportedly aboard the KC-130 Hercules and 2 flying the F/A-18 fighter jet, which was being refuelled.

The aircraft are based in the US Marine Corps base in Iwakuni, west of Hiroshima.

A Marine spokesman released a statement saying one of the personnel from the planes "is being evaluated by competent medical authorities".

USA military accidents are a sensitive topic in Japan, particularly for residents of the southern prefecture of Okinawa, which is home to the bulk of the US presence in the country.

And in mid-October, an MH-60 Seahawk belonging to the same carrier crashed off the Philippine Sea after takeoff.

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