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Six missing after two US military planes crash off Japan: Officials

AFP  |  Tokyo 

Six US marines were missing after two American military aircraft crashed on Thursday during a refuelling operation off the coast of Japan, officials from both countries told AFP.

The two planes -- an fighter and a tanker -- were involved in a "mishap about 200 miles off of the coast of around 2:00 am" according to a statement from the US Marines in

A told AFP that there had been a crash after the plane took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern

A for Japan's Self-Defence Forces said one of the airmen had been rescued but the immediate fate of the remaining crew members was unclear.

The crew member was being assessed by doctors, the Marine statement said, adding that "the search and rescue operations continue for the remaining six."

The was thought to be carrying five servicemen and the two, said the Japanese official, who added that Japan had scrambled four aircraft and three ships in the search.

US media also reported five crew on the and two on the

"We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force's efforts as they immediately responded in the search and rescue operation," the Marines said.

The planes took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in and were "conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred," the statement said.

The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation, the military added.

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

In November, a US navy fighter jet crashed into the sea off Japan's southern island of and its two crew members were rescued alive.

The has also experienced difficulties with its Osprey helicopters, with several emergency landings, a deadly crash and a piece of the chopper falling on the grounds of a Japanese school.

Those incidents have stoked tensions between close military allies and and led to protests against the deployment of Ospreys by residents living near US bases.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 06:50 IST