TOKYO: Eight people have been rescued after a US military aircraft with 11 people aboard crashed into the Philippine Sea en route to an aircraft carrier, Japan said Wednesday, reports AFP.
Japanese and American rescuers scrambled to reach the downed aircraft in seas off the remote Japanese reef of Okinotori, in the latest accident to hit American armed forces in East Asia.
The government in Tokyo said it had been informed eight people had been plucked to safety, and that US authorities had said engine trouble was the suspected cause of the accident. “Personnel recovery is under way and their condition will be evaluated by USS Ronald Reagan medical staff,” a US Navy statement said.
“The aircraft was en route to the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is currently operating in the Philippine Sea.” In Tokyo, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said a joint operation had been launched.
“Currently a search-and-rescue mission is being conducted in the area by the US side as well as the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force,” he told reporters.