US Navy helicopter carrying 11 crashes into Pacific

US Navy helicopter carrying 11 crashes into Pacific

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrying 11 crewmembers and passengers, crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa Wednesday afternoon, the Seventh Fleet said.

Japan's NHK news agency said eight people were rescued, but there was no immediate word on their condition.

The crash happened approximately 2:45 p.m. local time, as the aircraft was heading to the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is operating in the Philippine Sea. A recovery operation is underway.

The carrier is conducting search and rescue operations, the 7th Fleet says.

The C-2 "Greyhound" aircraft crashed into the Pacific about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of Okinotorishima, a Japanese atoll, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said, according to a ministry spokesman.

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Names of the crew and passengers have not been released.

He said that Japanese authorities were informed by the USA military that engine problems might have been the reason for the plane crash.

The plane was taking part in an ongoing joint U.S. -Japan naval exercise in waters surrounding Okinawa from November 16-26.

And the deadliest accident came on August 21, when 10 US sailors were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with commercial vessel Alnic MC in waters east of Singapore, according to the Navy.

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