A US army plane with six personnel on board crashed into the ocean close to Japan’s Yakushima island, killing one among them, mentioned officers.
The crash concerned an Osprey plane, which might perform as a helicopter or a turboprop craft, and occurred at about 2.47pm native time on Wednesday, in response to a spokesperson for the coastguard.
Officers earlier mentioned there have been eight individuals on board, however later revised this quantity down to 6. Plane and patrol boats deployed by Japan’s coastguard to the crash web site discovered gray particles believed to be from the plane about 1km off Yakushima, an island south of Kagoshima.
Coastguard spokesperson Kazuo Ogawa mentioned a kind of on board was rushed to a close-by hospital however was later pronounced lifeless. The standing of the 5 others will not be but identified.
The Osprey had tried an emergency sea touchdown, mentioned Japanese vice-defence minister Hiroyuki Miyazawa.
“The federal government will verify details about the harm and place the very best precedence on saving lives,” mentioned Japan’s chief cupboard secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, who earlier mentioned the plane had disappeared from radar at 2.40pm native time.
An emergency name had been obtained from a fishing boat close to the crash web site off Yakushima, mentioned Mr Ogawa.
Native residents mentioned the plane’s left engine was on fireplace when it fell into the ocean, reported Japanese broadcaster MBC.
Mr Ogawa mentioned the Osprey had departed from the US Marine Corps Air Station in Yamaguchi prefecture’s Iwakuni and crashed whereas heading to the Kadena airbase in Okinawa.
One Japanese army base in Saga prefecture has postponed Osprey flight workout routines deliberate for Thursday.
US and Japanese officers mentioned the plane belonged to Yokota air base in western Tokyo, however American officers at Yokota are nonetheless confirming the data and didn’t remark.
There have been at the very least 5 deadly crashes of Marine Ospreys since 2012, inflicting a complete of at the very least 19 deaths, reported the Related Press.
Critics have mentioned the hybrid plane is liable to accidents, whereas the US army and Japan have maintained it’s secure.
Denny Tamaki, the governor of Okinawa, mentioned on Wednesday that he’ll urge the US army to droop all Osprey flights in Japan.
About half the 50,000 US troops in Japan are stationed in Okinawa.
First launched in 1989, the Osprey plane has a novel tilt-rotor design that enables it to carry out vertical take-offs and landings like a helicopter, earlier than turning its rotors and attaining related cruising speeds to a standard turboprop aircraft.
Bell Boeing, which manufactures the Osprey, mentioned the plane is constructed with corrosion-resistant supplies and stays essentially the most appropriate for a maritime surroundings.
The plane are used for a variety of mission sorts that embody air assaults, air refuelling, evacuation and restoration and transporting VIPs.
A variety of crashes involving the plane have been reported in recent times.
In August this yr, three of 20 US marines had been killed on Australia’s Melville Island whereas participating in a army drill with the armies of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor.
Final yr, 4 US troopers had been killed in a crash in a Norwegian city throughout a Nato train unrelated to the Ukraine warfare. The plane concerned was a V-22B Osprey that belonged to the US Marine Corps, Norway’s armed forces mentioned.
In a 2017 crash, an Osprey struck a warship in an incident that killed three marines on board. New footage of the incident emerged final yr.