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US military aircraft carrying 8 crashes off coast of Japan: report


A U.S. military V-22 Osprey aircraft with eight people onboard crashed off the coast of western Japan on Wednesday.

The Japanese Coast Guard said the crash site is off Yakushima Island and patrol boats and aircraft have been deployed to the location for search and rescue efforts, according to Reuters.

One person, whose condition was not made available, and gray-colored debris believed to belong to the Osprey were located by the Japanese Coast Guard about 0.6 miles off the coast of the island, The Associated Press reported.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa and the Japanese Coast Guard for more information.

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A U.S. military V-22 Osprey aircraft crashed off Yakushima Island in Japan on Wednesday with eight people onboard. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

Versions of the tilt-rotor plane are operated by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Navy and the Japan Self Defense Forces and has the ability to fly like a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft.

According to Japanese media, local authorities said witnesses saw the aircraft’s left engine on fire as it descended at around 2:47 p.m. local time near the island’s airport.

It disappeared from radar shortly before the crash at 2:40 p.m., according to Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno via Reuters.

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Though the U.S. military and Japan say the aircraft is safe, its deployment in Japan has been controversial as critics claim it is prone to accidents.

US Marine Corps

A Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, flies near Naval Air Facility, Atsugi airbase in Kanagawa, Japan. (Damon Coulter/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Three U.S. Marines were killed in August when an Osprey crashed off the coast of northern Australia during a routine exercise transporting troops.

Another crash-landed in the ocean off Okinawa in December 2016, which prompted a temporary grounding of the aircraft.

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



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