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US military aircraft crashes off Japan's coast, officials say

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(NEW YORK) — A U.S. military Osprey aircraft carrying six service members crashed off the Japanese coast at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, local officials said.

At least one service member who had been on board was located, officials said, although there was no immediate confirmation on the person’s condition.

The Japan Coast Guard deployed search-and-rescue vessels to the area off Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan.

The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted at about 4 p.m., about an hour after the crash had been reported, in the water southeast of the airport on Yakushima Island, officials said.

The search continued into the night on Wednesday, with Coast Guard ships and helicopters active in the search area at about 7 p.m. local time.

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The Osprey, a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or VTOL, is manufactured by Bell Boeing.

An Osprey crash in Australia in August killed three U.S. service members, Marine officials said. In June 2022, an Osprey crash killed five Marines in Glamis, California. Four U.S. Marines were killed in March 2022 in an Osprey crash during training exercises in Norway.

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