2 U.S. warplanes crash off Japan; 1 dead, 5 missing
TOKYO » One of two crew members recovered after two U.S. warplanes collided and crashed off Japan’s coast early Thursday is dead and five others remain missing, the U.S. military said.
The Marine Corps said the other recovered crew member was in fair condition.
It said an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet and a
KC-130 Hercules refueling aircraft collided during training at about 2 a.m. after taking off from their base in Iwakuni, near Hiroshima. The seven crew members included two in the F/A-18 and five in the KC-130.
The Marines said in a statement that the two planes were involved in routine training, including aerial refueling, but that it was still investigating what was happening when the accident occurred.
The crash took place 320 kilometers (200 miles) off the coast, according to the U.S. military. Japanese officials said it occurred closer to the coast, about 100 kilometers (60 miles), and that’s where the search and rescue mission found the two crew members.
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force, which dispatched aircraft and vessels to join in the search operation, said Japanese rescuers found one of the crew from the fighter jet in stable condition.