2 Japanese military helicopters with 8 occupants crash in Pacific ocean

Tokyo: Two Japanese military helicopters with a total of eight crew members on board crashed over the Pacific Ocean during a night-time exercise, according to the Ministry of Defence in Tokyo.

One person was rescued but later declared dead, Defence Minister Kihara Minoru said on Sunday, according to Japanese media. The seven other crew members were missing. The search for them was underway.

The ministry said that contact with the two SH-60K helicopters was lost late on Saturday during an anti-submarine drill.

The ministry did not rule out the possibility that the two aircraft, each with four people on board, could have collided in mid-air in an area east of the Izu Islands, south of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean.

Minoru said that Japan’s self-defence forces discovered floating debris in the sea which presumably came from the helicopters.


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