Six US marines were missing after two American military aircraft crashed on Thursday during a refueling operation off the coast of Japan, said officials.
“US military and the Japanese Self-Defense planes and vessels are searching for those still missing… I hope all the members will be rescued safely as soon as possible,” Iwaya added. The marines were conducting “regularly scheduled training” when the crash occurred around 2am local time, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.
The F/A-18 fighter jet with two crew onboard and a KC-130 refueling tanker with five crew — crashed into the sea around 100 kilometres (60 miles) off the cape of Muroto in south-western Japan, Iwaya said. The crew member rescued had been in the fighter jet, the minister confirmed.
Japan’s Self-Defense Forces had deployed nine aircraft and three vessels for the search, he said. “We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s efforts as they immediately responded in the search and rescue operation,” the Marines said. A spokesman for the Japanese coastguard said six vessels and an aircraft had been dispatched separately to assist in the rescue efforts.
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17 November, 2019