U.S. military aircraft crashes into ocean near Japan island with six on board, one confirmed dead, coast guard says


A Japan’s coast guard vessel conducts search and rescue operation around the site where a U.S. military Osprey aircraft was believed to crash in the sea off Yakushima Island, Kagoshima prefecture, southern Japan Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.

Kyodo News via AP

A U.S. military Osprey aircraft crashed into the ocean near Yakushima Island in Japan with six personnel onboard Wednesday, the local coast guard said.

A spokesperson for the regional coast guard in Kagoshima Prefecture said that one person who was brought to hospital had been confirmed dead.

Rescue ships have found wreckage-like debris and an overturned life raft. Authorities initially reported eight people were on board, before revising the figure to six.

Searches are ongoing and official updates on other personnel have not been provided.

A caller reported that an Osprey aircraft of unknown affiliation had crashed at around 2:47 p.m. local time on Nov. 29, a coast guard spokesperson told NBC News. The plane was later identified as belonging to the U.S. military.

Officials said the Osprey was flying from Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, to Kadena Air Base, a U.S. base in Okinawa Prefecture.

A US Air Force CV-22 Osprey from the 352nd Special Operations Wing based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, flies low over the North Sea during Exercise Point Blank.

Joe Giddens | Pa Images | Getty Images

Japanese public broadcaster NHK cited a witness who said that they saw fire coming from the aircraft as it went down. CNBC has not independently verified the report.

Yakushima Island is located off Japan’s southern coast. Local weather reports suggest no adverse conditions at the time of the crash.

The Osprey aircraft, which has vertical take-off and landing as well as long-range, high-speed capabilities, has been involved in a spate of recent incidents. Three U.S. Marines died in August when a MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crashed off the coast of northern Australia, with 23 on board. Previously, Five marines perished in a V-22 Osprey crash in California in August 2022, which was ruled as a mechanical failure. In March the same year, four U.S. personnel were killed in a V-22B Osprey crash in northern Norway during NATO training exercises.



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