Search Underway After Two US Marine Aircraft Crash Off Japan

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The rescued person had been on the F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, and was a in stable condition at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told a news conference.

Search and rescue efforts were under way off Japan after two US Marine Corps aircraft crashed in a still-unexplained mishap, leaving seven US military personnel missing, US officials said.

A Marine Corps KC-130 is seen in this 2016 photo.

Both aircraft were conducting scheduled training after launching from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni when the incident happened around 2 a.m. Thursday local time.

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A spokesman for Japan's Self-Defense Forces said that one of the airmen had been rescued but the immediate fate of the remaining crew members was unclear. Japanese search and rescue aircraft were immediately deployed and rescued at least one Marine.

"The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation", Marine officials said in a statement.

The crash comes just a month after a US F/A-18 Hornet from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea southwest of Okinawa.

In July 2017, a KC-130T crashed in MS while flying from Stewart Air National Guard Base in NY to Naval Air Facility El Centro in California, killing all 16 Marines and prompting the military to ground many other C-130s afterward.