US military aircraft Osprey with eight crew crashes off Japan

A US Osprey military aircraft with eight crew on board crashed on Wednesday off a Japanese island, the coastguard said, in the latest accident involving the tilt-rotor military aircraft.

It was unclear whether there were any survivors, but the coastguard said one unconscious person had been found at the scene and transported to a nearby port.

The unconscious person was found in the sea, the coastguard said, and resuscitation was being attempted.

Local media reported that the coastguard had spotted wreckage near the site of the crash.

“We received information at 2:47 pm (0547 GMT) today that the US military’s Osprey crashed off Yakushima Island,” a spokeswoman for the coastguard told AFP.

“We were also notified that there were eight crew members on board,” she added.

An emergency management official in the Kagoshima region told AFP that “police received a report that an Osprey was spewing fire from a left engine and was landing at a beach near Yakushima Airport”.

The coastguard said it has mobilised patrol ships and aircraft around Yakushima, which lies south of Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu.

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that the Osprey was on its way from the Iwakuni US base near Hiroshima in the Yamaguchi region headed for the Kadena base further south in Okinawa.

NHK also cited defence ministry sources as saying that the aircraft was a CV-22 Osprey belonging to the US Yokota air base in Tokyo.

Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said Japan was “aware of information that the US military’s Osprey fell out of radar (contact)” near Yakushima Island.

“The government is confirming the extent of damage and will prioritise saving human lives,” Matsuno told reporters.

The US embassy in Japan was not immediately able to comment. The US military says it has about 54,000 personnel in Japan.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *