Eight rescued from US Navy aircraft that crashed into sea near Japan

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan Mc Cord | U.S. Navy | Getty Images

It was taking part in an ongoing joint U.S. -Japan naval exercise. "The cause of the crash is not known at this time", the statement read.

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the sea off Okinawa, Japan Wednesday while on the way to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, military officials said.

Eight people were rescued and three remained missing after a US Navy plane crashed into the western Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, the Navy said.

It says the ship was operating in the Philippine Sea when the crash occurred at 2:45 p.m. Japan time.

Names of the crew and passengers have not been released.

Japanese and American rescuers scrambled to reach the downed aircraft in seas off the remote Japanese reef of Okinotori, in the latest accident to hit American armed forces in East Asia.

Onodera voiced concern about the frequency of aircraft accidents involving US forces, saying he would ask the American military to take more care with safety.

NHK says the aircraft was a C2 transport plane.

The U.S. Navy says eight people who were recovered from the crash of a transport aircraft in the Pacific are in good condition and the search continues for three other missing personnel.

Ten were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore in August, and seven died when the USS Fitzgerald ran into a much heavier container ship off the coast of Japan in June. Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was relieved of duty due to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command", according to the Navy.

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