U.S. military aircraft with 8 aboard crashes off SW Japanese island

(Xinhua) 15:23, November 29, 2023

TOKYO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. Osprey military transport aircraft carrying eight people crashed off Japan's southwestern island of Yakushima in Kagoshima Prefecture on Wednesday, local media reported.

The Japan Coast Guard received an emergency call about the crash at around 2:47 p.m. local time (0547 GMT) after the Osprey departed from the Iwakuni U.S. base in the Yamaguchi Prefecture heading for the Kadena base in Okinawa, public broadcaster NHK said, citing local authorities.

The aircraft disappeared from radar at 2:40 p.m. local time, according to the defense ministry.

Japanese coast guard spokesperson Kazuo Ogawa said the coast guard has dispatched patrol boats and aircraft to the site for search and rescue operations but it had no further details of the crash, including the safety of those onboard.

Weather officials said the skies over the Yakushima area were mostly clear during the day, and the wind speed at 2:30 p.m. local time was 6.84 km per hour. No advisories or warnings were issued at the time.

The tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft, which can fly both like a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, has a track record of accidents and mishaps both in Japan and abroad.

In August, a U.S. Osprey crashed off the coast of northern Australia, killing three crew members. Another crash-landed in the ocean off Japan's southern island of Okinawa in December 2016.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Xian Jiangnan)


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