Search underway after 2 Marine aircraft crash off coast of Japan

Two F  A-18D Hornets with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533

Two military aircraft crashed early Thursday while refueling in the air during a training mission off the coast of Japan, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) said Wednesday.

The planes involved are a KC-130 and an F/A 18, carrying a total of seven personnel, United States media quoted officials as saying.

Two United States Marine aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan on Wednesday.

A USA defense official told AFP there had been a crash after the plane took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan. It was not clear how many people were aboard either of the aircraft. Search and rescue operations were underway at the scene. The reports suggest the F/A-18 is a two-seat variant and five other crewmembers were on board the C-130.

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The Marines said in a statement that Japanese search and rescue aircraft responded and were aiding in the rescue effort.

Rescue operations are underway off the coast of Japan for survivors of an aviation "mishap" during a training exercise, according a statement by the U.S. marines.

The US military has about 50,000 troops stationed in Japan and accidents are not uncommon.

It was unclear if USA military officials were also assisting with the search.

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