A U.S. military Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea near an island off southern Japan Wednesday morning, officials reported.
According to reports, one crew member recovered from the aircraft was pronounced dead.
An initial statement from the coast guard stated eight people were on board, but officials revised the figure to six.
“A regional coast guard spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that the plane crashed into the ocean near Yakushima, an island about 45 miles south of the Kagoshima region on the southern main island of Kyushu,” NBC News reports.
A U.S. Military Osprey aircraft, with 8 on board, has crashed into the sea off the coast of Yakushima, Japan.
It’s not been confirmed which U.S. Base the aircraft was flying from, but it was believed to be heading to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.
The Coast Guard was alerted by an… pic.twitter.com/pxGYuTiTRc
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) November 29, 2023
🚨#BREAKING: A U.S. military Osprey with eight people on board has crashed off the coast of Southern Japan. The Japan Coast Guard is currently en route to search for survivors. pic.twitter.com/rU5vosR82p
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) November 29, 2023
NBC News reports:
The coast guard confirmed that one man was recovered from the sea “unconscious and was not breathing” 1.8 miles from Anbo Port, which is near the accident site on the eastern side of Yakushima, by a boat from the Yakushima Town Rescue Center. They were given CPR and taken to Anbo Port, it said. The unnamed crew member was later pronounced dead.
There were no immediate details available on the status of the aircraft or the rest of those on board.
An American Osprey aircraft has crashed off the coast of Japan killing one American soldier pic.twitter.com/GzvEwSgjDj
— • ᗰISᑕᕼIᗴᖴ ™ • (@4Mischief) November 29, 2023
The Associated Press provided additional details:
Coast guard spokesperson Ogawa said it received an emergency call Wednesday afternoon from a fishing boat near the crash site off Yakushima, an island south of Kagoshima on the southern main island of Kyushu.
Coast guard aircraft and patrol boats found one person identified only as a male who was later pronounced dead by a doctor at a nearby port, he said. They also found gray-colored debris believed to be from the aircraft and an empty inflatable life raft in an area about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) off the eastern coast of Yakushima, Ogawa said.
The coast guard said it planned to continue searching through the night.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the Osprey disappeared from radar a few minutes before the coast guard received the emergency call. The aircraft requested an emergency landing at the Yakushima airport about five minutes before it was lost from radar, NHK public television and other media reported.
NHK quoted a Yakushima resident as saying he saw the aircraft turned upside down, with fire coming from one of its engines, and then an explosion before it fell to the sea.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he planned to seek a further explanation from the U.S. military, but declined to say whether he would seek a temporary suspension of Osprey operations in Japan.
Ogawa said the aircraft had departed from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi prefecture and crashed on its way to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa.Advertisement