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1 dead, 7 missing as 2 military helicopters crash at sea

Tokyo: 1 died and 7 people were missing as 2 Japanese military helicopters crashed overnight at sea. The SH-60 patrol helicopters crashed into the sea during a training exercise. The helicopters were conducting anti-submarine exercises on Saturday night near Torishima in the remote Izu island group, off the southern coast of central Japan.

‘Rescuers spotted what is believed to be part of the aircraft in the sea, and we believe that the two helicopters crashed. At this point the cause is unknown, but firstly we do our best to save lives,’ Japan’s Defence Minister Minoru Kihara told reporters.

As per reports, communication with one helicopter was lost at 10:38 pm (1338 GMT) off the island of Torishima. A minute later, an emergency signal was received from this aircraft. Approximately 25 minutes later, around 11:04 pm, communication was lost with the second helicopter in the same area.

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The Mitsubishi SH-60K helicopters involved in the crash are operated by the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) primarily on and from naval destroyers.

Earlier Japan in November,  a US Osprey military aircraft crashed off resulting in the death of all 8 onboard and the subsequent grounding of similar aircraft by both the United States and Japan. Last April, a Japanese army UH-60JA helicopter with 10 onboard crashed off Miyako Island (south Okinawa), resulting in no survivors.

In January 2022, a Japanese fighter jet crashed off the central Ishikawa region, claiming the lives of 2 pilots. Additionally, in 2019, the pilot was killed after an F-35A stealth jet crashed into the sea after takeoff from northeastern Japan during a training mission.



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