A US Osprey military aircraft with eight crew members onboard crashed near Yakushima island off the coast of Japan, according to NHK world citing Japan's Defence Ministry.
The details about what happened to the Osprey and to the people onboard were not immediately known, Japan Coast Guard spokesperson Kazuo Ogawa said. The coast guard received an emergency call from a fishing boat near the crash site off Yakushima, he said.
Ogawa further said that the aircraft had departed from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi prefecture and crashed on its way to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa. The Osprey apparently attempted to make an emergency landing at the Yakushima airport before crashing, he said.
The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that can function as a helicopter and a turboprop aircraft. It was not immediately clear which US base the Osprey belonged to, but it was believed to be heading from Iwakuni to Okinawa.
In August, another US Osprey aircraft, reportedly carrying around 20 US marines, crashed on Sunday during military drills in Australia's Tiwi Islands, resulting in the killing of at least three. As per Australian media reports, more than 2,500 troops from the US, Australia, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Indonesia were taking part in the exercise on the Tiwi Islands.
The US military was also taking part in a multination military exercise in July when four Australian personnel were killed in an army MRH-90 Taipan helicopter crash off the northeast Australian coast.
(with AP inputs)