Crash Kills US Marine, Rescue Teams Search for Five Missing in Sea
The Japanese defense minister, Takeshi Iwaya informed that two US military airplanes collided with each other along Japan’s coastline. It happened during a refilling action and resulted in five pilots getting lost. Rescue operations are in progress.
Takeshi notified the reporters about successfully finding one privateer who is said to be alright. According to a Japanese Self-Defense( SDF) spokesperson, another member was located but no further information regarding his condition is known.
Iwaya said he is quite hopeful that the remaining members would soon be found. The US army, the Japanese Self-Defense airplanes, and boats are all looking for them.
The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force stated that the crash happened when the pilots were doing their usual training. The local time was approximately 2 am. Iwaya further elucidated that the two planes crashed and collapsed into the ocean, 100 km( 55 nautical miles) from Muroto in south-western Japan. The F/A-18 jet had two members in the plane and KC-130 refueling tanker had five people. SDF dispensed nine airplanes and three vessels for the rescue operation. The defense minister validated that the two members found were from the fighter jet.
The pilots expressed their gratitude toward the Japan Self-Defense Force as it was fast to act. A Japanese coastguard speaker said that six boats and a plane had been sent for the rescue operation. Inquiries are being carried out in order to figure out what exactly caused the accident.
As per the documents to present the US Assembly, there is a hose at the back of the refueling tanker, called “drogue”. The fighter plane puts a probe inside the drogue to fill itself, at a rate of 3000 pounds per minute.
There are 50,000 US military personnel in Japan, so accidents occur frequently. A US navy jet collapsed into the ocean near Okinawa and two members on board were saved. Last year in November, a C-2A airplane crashed into the Philippine Sea. Eight out of eleven people were found safe.
The US Osprey helicopters have also had multiple accidents in the past, including emergency landings. As a result, there have been protests by people residing close to US bases.
Iwaya says that once they recognize the cause of the crash, better actions could be taken in the future. Yoshihiko Fukuda, a mayor at the US base where the two planes belonged to, said that thorough measures must be taken by the state and US military. They need to ensure such accidents do not happen later on.
Bill Hagerty, the US ambassador gave his condolences to the kith and kin of the missing. He commended the Japanese reaction.