Five more soldiers were missing after a collision between two US military aircraft near the Japanese military airfield of Iwakuni during a refueling exercise in the air. Two occupants were recovered alive by Japanese rescue workers.
The accident happened Wednesday afternoon UTC at about 100 kilometers from the coast. The two aircraft collided during an exercise in which they practiced in the air with refueling.
The US military unit is looking for other survivors off the coast of Japan. Japanese rescue workers help with this. We are also looking through tonight. “We would like to thank the Japanese Navy for their efforts and the rapid launch of a search and rescue mission,” said the US Marine Corps.
The first marine to be found is being treated at the base in Iwakuni and is doing reasonably well, according to the US Army. The second passenger was found ten hours after the crash. Nothing has been disclosed about his condition.
The aircraft involved are a Hornet F / A-18 fighter-bomber and a larger KC-130, a tanker. The accident would have happened during a regular exercise at Iwakuni, where the Americans have a base.
Accidents with military aircraft are a sensitive issue in Okinawa. Several emergency landings and loose parts have fueled concerns about the safety of the aircraft.