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  4. 2 Japanese navy helicopters, carrying 8 crew members, crashed in Pacific Ocean, search operation on: Govt

2 Japanese navy helicopters, carrying 8 crew members, crashed in Pacific Ocean, search operation on: Govt

One of the eight crew members was recovered from the waters, but his or her condition was unknown. The officials were still searching for the other seven.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Tokyo Updated on: April 21, 2024 7:22 IST
2 Japanese navy helicopter/Representational pic
Image Source : REUTERS 2 Japanese navy helicopter/Representational pic

The Japanese government on Saturday said two navy helicopters carrying eight crew members were believed to have crashed in the Pacific Ocean south of Tokyo during a night-time training exercise.

The Japanese Defence Minister  Minoru Kihara said the rescuers were searching for the missing choppers and crew members.

The minister said the two SH-60K choppers belonging to the Maritime Self Defense Force and carrying four crew each, lost contact late Saturday near Torishima island in the Pacific about 600 kilometers (370 miles) south of Tokyo.

"The cause of the crash was not immediately known. The officials are prioritizing the rescue operation. The MSDF deployed eight warships and five aircraft for the search and rescue of the missing crew. They recovered fragments believed to be from one of the SH-60Ks," Kihara said.

“We believe the helicopters have crashed,” he said.

The helicopters, twin-engine, multi-mission aircraft designed by Sikorsky and known as Seahawk, were on night-time anti-submarine training in the waters, Kihara stated. 

One lost contact at 10:38 p.m.(1338 GMT) after sending an emergency signal. The other aircraft lost contact about 25 minutes later. One belonged to an air base in Nagasaki, and the other at a base in Tokushima prefecture.

The SH-60K aircraft is usually deployed on destroyers for anti-submarine missions.

Saturday's training only involved the Japanese navy and was not part of a multinational exercise, defense officials said. They said no foreign aircraft or warships were spotted in the area.

(With AP inputs)

Also read: 2 Japanese navy helicopters, carrying 8 crew members, crashed in Pacific Ocean, search operation on: Govt

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