Second crew member found after US Marine Corps planes collide near Japan

Marine Corps two F  A-18D Hornets approach a KC-130J during an aerial refuelling exercise at an undisclosed location

An FA-18 jet and a KC-130 tanker plane of the U.S. Marine Corps collided and crashed off the western Japan coast early Thursday, with five of the seven crew members still missing as rescue and search operations continued, the Marines and the Japanese Defense Ministry said.

The second person was found about 60 miles south of Muroto Cape on Shikoku island in southwestern Japan, the Maritime Self-Defense Force said.

A spokesman for Japan's Self-Defense Forces said that one of the airmen had been rescued but the immediate fate of the remaining crew members was unclear.

Six ships of the Japan Coast Guard and a patrol plane have been dispatched to the site of the crash of the US McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet and Lockheed Martin KC-130 aerial refuel tanker off the coast of the Japanese Kochi prefecture, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation, the military added. They were both in good condition and the aircraft carrier has since returned to normal operations, the Navy said.

A Japan Coast Guard ship is seen at sea during a search operation for a US Marine refuelling plane and fighter jet off Muroto Kochi prefecture southwestern Japan
Marine Planes Crash Off Japan Coast, Search and Rescue Underway

The fighter jet then inserts a probe inside the drogue to receive fuel, which it can do at a rate of up to 3,000 pounds per minute, according to a paper prepared for the US Congress.

The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the US military deployed to and near Japan.

The US military has also experienced difficulties with its Osprey helicopters, with several emergency landings, a deadly crash and a piece of the chopper falling on the grounds of a Japanese school.

"Later, if we get to know the details of the accident, we will take appropriate measures", added Iwaya.

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