At least 2 missing after U.S. military cargo aircraft crashes southeast off Okinawa

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-22 17:10:39|Editor: Zhou Xin
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TOKYO, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were missing after a United States C2 cargo aircraft crashed southeast off Okinawa on Wednesday, according to Japanese Defense Ministry.

According to a release by the U.S. 7th Fleet, 11 crew and passengers were on board the U.S. Navy aircraft before it crashed at approximately 2:45 p.m. local time (0545 GMT).

The aircraft was on its way to the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), which is currently operating in the Philippine Sea, said the release.

The USS Ronald Reagan is conducting search and rescue operations and the cause of the crash is not known yet, said the U.S. 7th Fleet.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK said eight of the crew members have been rescued, though it was not clear yet whether they were injured.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters that the USS Ronald Reagan was conducting a drill jointly with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) when the plane went down.

He said that Japanese authorities were informed by the U.S. military that engine problems might have been the reason for the plane crash.