A U.S. Navy plane carrying eleven people has crashed into the Pacific Ocean near the Japanese island of Okinawa, U.S. officials say. Eight people have been rescued but three others remain unaccounted-for.
The incident happened at about 2:45 p.m. local time on Wednesday when the C-2A Greyhound aircraft went down in the Philippine Sea about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa, which is south of the Japanese mainland.
The aircraft was carrying 11 passengers and crew members during a routine transport flight from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to the USS Ronald Reagan, which is operating in the Philippine Sea as part of an exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
About 40 minutes after the crash, 8 crew members were rescued and transferred to the USS Ronald Reagan. The survivors underwent a medical evaluation and all of the survivors were reported to be in a good condition, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet.
Three people remained unaccounted-for on early Thursday morning and search and rescue efforts were continuing. Both U.S. Navy and JMSDF ships and aircraft are participating in the operation. Worried relatives may call the family assistance center at +81-468-16-1728.
The C-2A Greyhound is a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft which is used to transport high-priority cargo, mail, duty passengers and important visitors between the USS Ronald Reagan and shore bases throughout the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia.
The cause of Wednesday’s accident was not immediately known. The U.S. 7th Fleet has experienced a number of accidents this year, including one in August in which the USS John S. McCain collided with a cargo ship off Singapore, killing 10 U.S. sailors.
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