Two Japanese Navy helicopters crash into the Pacific Ocean

Two Japanese Navy helicopters crash into the Pacific Ocean

Tokyo — Two Japanese navy helicopters with eight crew members on board crashed while conducting a training flight over the Pacific Ocean, south of Tokyo, after possibly colliding with each other, Japan’s defense minister said Sunday.

One crew member who had been rescued was later pronounced dead, while rescuers searched for seven other personnel who were still missing.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force’s two SH-60K helicopters, each with four crew members, lost contact Saturday near Torishima Island, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) south of Tokyo, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said in a statement. statements to the press

The cause of the accident is currently unknown, but the two helicopters could have crashed into each other before plummeting into the sea, Kihara said.

In the same area, rescuers recovered a flight data recorder, a blade from each of the helicopters, and fragments that are believed to belong to both aircraft, signs that the two SH-60Ks were flying very close to each other. Kihara said. Authorities will analyze flight data to try to determine the cause of the accident.

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