Search-and-rescue operations continue for six U.S. Marines who were aboard a KC-130 Hercules refueling aircraft and an F/A-18 Hornet, both of which crashed about 200 miles off the coast of Japan early Thursday morning local time.
The aircraft launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and “were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred,” officials with III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement Wednesday.
The aircraft crashed around 2:00 a.m. local time, III MEF said.
Marine officials did not immediately disclose how many were on board each plane. CBS and ABC News, citing Marine Corps sources, reported there were five on board the KC-130 and two pilots on the Hornet.
Officials would not comment on the crew members’ conditions, but later confirmed one person involved in the mishap was being evaluated by medical authorities at MCAS Iwakuni.
“Japanese search-and-rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery,” the statement said. “The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation.”
The latest mishap follows another F/A-18 crash last month in the Philippine Sea.
In that incident, two U.S. Navy pilots were rescued by crew from the Nimitz-class carrier Ronald Reagan and were in good condition, the service said at the time. The cause of that crash remains under investigation.
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