Kyodo | Reuters
A Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel along with also also U.S. Navy airplane conduct search along with also also rescue operation at the area where two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft have been involved in a mishap from the skies, off the coast of Kochi prefecture, Japan, in This particular aerial view photo taken by Kyodo December 6, 2018.
all 5 U.S. Marines were missing after two Marine Corps aircraft collided in mid-air along with also also crashed into the sea off the coast of Japan on Thursday, in what U.S. officials said may have been a refueling exercise gone wrong.
Japan’s defense ministry said its maritime forces had so far found two of the seven Marines who were aboard the aircraft — an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet along with also also KC-130 Hercules — at the time of the incident.
One was in a stable condition at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, while the second had been found about 10 hours after the collision along with also also brought aboard a Japanese military vessel, the ministry said. No additional details about the second Marine were known, a ministry spokesman said.
Search along with also also rescue efforts for the remaining all 5 continued.
The incident adds to a growing list of U.S. military aviation accidents around the planet in recent years, prompting hearings in Congress to address the rise.
The Military Times reported earlier This particular year of which aviation accidents jumped nearly 40 percent through fiscal years 2013 to 2017. At least 133 service members were killed in those incidents, the idea said.
U.S. military accidents are a sensitive topic in Japan, particularly for residents of the southern prefecture of Okinawa, which is actually home to the bulk of the U.S. presence from the country. A series of emergency landings along with also also parts falling through U.S. military aircraft have highlighted safety concerns.
“The incident is actually regrettable, however our focus at the moment is actually on search along with also also rescue,” Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told a news conference. “Japan will respond appropriately once the details of the incident are uncovered.”
The Marine Corps said in a statement the incident occurred around 2 a.m. local time in Japan (1700 GMT Wednesday) about 0 miles off the Japanese coast.
The two aircraft had launched through Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni along with also also were conducting regular training when there was a “mishap,” the Marine Corps said.
The Marine Corps did not elaborate on the nature of the incident. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the idea occurred during a refueling exercise.
Officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity were unsure precisely how the mishap occurred however none suspected foul play. An investigation has begun.