Tokyo, 29 November, 2023 (GNP): A US military Osprey aircraft crashed in western Japan in to the sea, resulting in at least one confirmed fatality, as reported by a spokesperson from the Japan Coast Guard. The crash led to a swift response from authorities as they initiated search and rescue efforts.
The Japan Coast Guard received notification of the crash at approximately 2:47 pm local time (12:47 am ET) and promptly dispatched a patrol boat and aircraft to the crash site to assess the situation and provide necessary assistance.
In the aftermath of the crash, three individuals were discovered in the surrounding waters; however, their current conditions remain undisclosed, according to information from a British media outlet.
Reports from the Coast Guard indicate that debris from the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey was observed, and a person, seemingly unresponsive, was located approximately 3 kilometers from Yakushima island.
A separate Osprey aircraft landed safely at the island’s airport around the time of the crash, as confirmed by a spokesperson for the local government. US forces in the region are actively gathering information about the incident, according to a spokesperson’s statement.
The presence of approximately 54,000 US troops in Japan, particularly in the southern island chain, underscores the importance of swiftly addressing and investigating this tragic event.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing the aircraft’s left engine ablaze during its descent, prompting Japan’s request for a comprehensive investigation into the crash from the US military.
The Osprey aircraft is utilized by the US Marines, US Navy, and Japan Self-Defense Forces. While reports have suggested incidents involving Osprey aircraft, both the US military and Japan have refuted these allegations.
This incident follows a previous Osprey crash off the coast of northern Australia in August, resulting in the loss of three US Marines. Additionally, a separate crash involving an Osprey occurred in Okinawa, Japan, in 2016.