A US military helicopter crash-landed inside the training area at Okinawa’s Camp Hansen on Monday with four crew members inside according to Global Post.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters that he was told that three of the four crew members ejected themselves from the helicopter and survived according to Marine Corps Times.
While initially the fourth crew member has been reported missing, reports are now saying that the fourth member has been found and taken to a hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.
Reports are also conflicting as to what type of helicopter crashed, some saying it was an HH-60 and others reporting it was a CH-46.
Reuters reported that the helicopter was conducting a training mission at the time of the crash.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters:
“This is really regrettable. We are asking the U.S. side for a speedy supply of information. We plan to strongly demand for investigation into the cause of the accident and measures to prevent a recurrence.”
The Marine Corps Times report continued on to say that local police said there were no reports of injuries to locals or damage outside of the base.
The report also sated that local media said the crash revived memories of an accident in 2004, when a CH-53 helicopter from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma crashed into a nearby university building.
This event triggered a huge anti-base uproar although there were no civilian injuries and the crew survived.
In 2012, there had been reports of a US Military F-16 fighter jet that had crashed of of the coast of Japan.
The Marine Corps Times report stated the following:
“‘We knew it was going to happen sooner or later,’ said Kadena Mayor Hiroshi Toyama, referring to Monday’s crash. The news came as he and other local officials were meeting to discuss opposition to the new Osprey deployments on Okinawa.”
Details of the US Military Helicopter Crashes In Okinawa, Japan are still being updated, and the only report of (possible) major injuries are of the fourth crew member.
[Image via Huffington Post]