A US military V-22 Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off Japan’s Yakushima island on Wednesday, killing eight people on board. A spokesman for Japan’s coast guard said there were no further details of the incident, including the safety of those on board, news agency Reuters reported.
The incident occurred at 2.47 pm (local time). Local people said that as soon as the American military plane fell into the sea, fire started coming out from its left engine.A spokesperson for the US military in the area said they were still gathering information about the incident.
The deployment of the Osprey in Japan has been controversial, with critics saying the hybrid aircraft poses a crash risk. The US military and Japan say it is safe.
In a similar incident, a US Osprey crashed off the coast of northern Australia while carrying troops during a routine military exercise in August, killing three US marines.
Another crash landed in the sea off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa in December 2016, prompting the US military to temporarily ground the aircraft, Reuters reported.