Search underway after 2 Marine aircraft crash off coast of Japan

Two F  A-18D Hornets with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533

Modal Trigger Two F A-18D Hornets with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533. AP

Last month, a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea southwest of Japan's southern island of Okinawa, though its two pilots were rescued safely.

One survivor has been rescued by Japanese search teams but the six others remain missing.

Japanese and USA officials say two American warplanes crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Japan's southwestern coast after a midair collision early Thursday, and search and rescue operations are underway.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force, which dispatched aircraft and vessels to join the rescue operation, said Japanese rescuers found one of the crew members in stable condition.

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The aircraft had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when there was a "mishap", the Marine Corps said. A United States official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one of the aircraft was an F/A-18 fighter jet while the other was a KC-130 refueling aircraft, with a combined total of seven personnel aboard.

Further details about the incident were not immediately released.

A F-18 with two people on board and a KC-130 with five on board were involved in the incident about 200 miles off Iwakuni, Japan. "There is no additional information available at this time".

The last major USA military aircraft incident occurred in May when an Air National Guard C-130 cargo plane crashed outside Savannah, killing all nine personnel on board.

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