Search Underway After Two US Marine Aircraft Crash Off Japan

A U.S. Navy helicopter approaches to land on the deck of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, a missile cruiser and a nuclear-powered submarine as the USS Normady sails in the Bay of Bengal during Exercise Malabar 2015 some 152 miles off

The status of the other Marines was not immediately available.

A search and rescue operation was underway off the coast of Japan after two Marine Corps aircraft crashed, military officials said.

A Facebook posting by the III Marine Expeditionary Force said the incident took place 200 miles (320km) off the coast.

The FA-18 and the KC-130 from the Iwakuni base were conducting routine training when they collided some 100 kilometers south of Cape Muroto in Kochi Prefecture at around 1:40 a.m., according to the ministry.

Early reports that surfaced on Twitter report that an F/A-18 (unspecified variant) and a C-130 crashed into the sea with a total of seven crewmembers on board.

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The last major USA military aircraft incident occurred in May when an Air National Guard C-130 cargo plane crashed outside Savannah, killing all nine personnel on board.

There were five personnel on the C-130 and two on the F-18.

"The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation", the statement said.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force, which dispatched aircraft and vessels to join in the search operation, said Japanese rescuers found one of the crew members in stable condition.

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