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At least one dead as US Osprey aircraft crashes off coast of Japan – CNN News

By Jessie Yeung and Emiko Jozuka, CNN

A Japan Coast Guard vessel and a helicopter conduct search and rescue operation at the site where a U.S. military aircraft MV-22 Osprey crashed into the sea off Yakushima Island, Kagoshima prefecture, western Japan November 29, 2023, in this photo taken by Kyodo.

Tokyo (CNN) – At least one person was killed Wednesday after a US military Osprey aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan’s Yakushima Island in southern Kagoshima prefecture, according to a spokesperson from the Japan Coast Guard.

Six people were on board the aircraft, the Coast Guard said. Previously, officials said eight people had been on board.

The spokesperson added that no further information was available on the other individuals on board and the reason behind the crash.

The Coast Guard received information about the crash around 2:47 p.m. local time (12:47 a.m. ET), said the spokesperson, adding the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters has dispatched a patrol boat and aircraft to the crash area.

The Yakushima Airport Management Office in Kagoshima Prefecture received a call from the US military Wednesday afternoon requesting an emergency landing at Kagoshima Airport, a Kagoshima prefectural official told CNN.

The Kagoshima prefectural official did not specify if the request came from the US Marines or Air Force.

It is the latest crash to involve an Osprey military aircraft, with numerous accidents reported over the years.

In August this year three US Marines were killed and several others seriously wounded after an Osprey crashed during military exercises in Australia.

In 2022, five US Marines died after their MV-22B Osprey plane crashed during a training mission near Glamis, California. The same year four US service members were killed when their Osprey crashed during NATO training exercises in Norway.

The Osprey is a highly flexible aircraft that is can take off vertically like a helicopter but also carry out high speed cruising of a more conventional turboprop plane with wings.

Generally, Osprey are safe to fly, but the aircraft has had a history of mechanical and operational issues, since its inception in the 1980s, according to CNN military analyst and retired US Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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