A search team consisting of U.S. and Japanese military divers discovered the wreckage of the U.S. Air Force Osprey aircraft that crashed near Japan.
The search team found “remains” of possibly five crew members, NBC News reports.
None of the found remains have been identified so far.
“The Air Force Special Operations Command said in a statement just after 4 a.m. ET on Monday that a U.S.-Japanese team of divers had found ‘remains’ and wreckage,” the outlet reports.
“In an update at 6 a.m. ET, the Air Force confirmed that it had found the fuselage of the craft and five bodies. Divers had retrieved two of the bodies and were working to retrieve the rest of the crew,” NBC News added.
BREAKING: Five bodies found in wreck of crashed Osprey off Japan: US military https://t.co/0kwLp8Evuk
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) December 4, 2023
The aircraft crashed into the ocean last week near Yakushima, an island about 45 miles south of the Kagoshima region on the southern main island of Kyushu.
One crew member recovered from the scene was pronounced dead.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) December 4, 2023
Per NBC News:
“The main priority is bringing the Airmen home and taking care of their family members. Support to, and the privacy of, the families and loved ones impacted by this incident remains AFSOC’s top priority,” the statement said.
Police in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, named the deceased airman recovered last week as as Staff Sgt. Jacob “Jake” Galliher, a 24-year-old father of two.
The CV-22B Osprey — a hybrid helicopter-plane that takes off vertically but tilts its rotors 90 degrees forward once airborne — was taking part in a training exercise when it crashed off Yakushima, an island off the Kagoshima region on the southern main island of Kyushu.
It is latest in a string of deadly incidents involving U.S. military Osprey aircraft and not the first accident in Japan.
Japan expressed concern over the continued use of the craft on Friday and grounded its own fleet of Ospreys. Later that day the Pentagon said it would stop flying them from the Yokota Air Base, but U.S. Ospreys are flying in the rest of the region.