Five missing after two US military planes crash off Japan

By AFP |December 06,2018 - 10:01 PM

Rescue operations were underway Thursday for five US marines missing after two American military aircraft crashed during a refueling operation off the coast of Japan, the Japanese defence minister said.

One crew member has already been rescued and is thought to be in a stable condition, Takeshi Iwaya told reporters.

A spokesman for the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) said another crew member had been found but there were no immediate details of the marine’s condition.

“The Marine is being transported to a local hospital for evaluation,” the US military said in a statement.

“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 2 a.m., 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 kilometers (55 nautical miles) off the cape of Muroto in southwestern Japan, Iwaya said.

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