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1 killed, 7 missing after 2 Japanese military helicopters crash

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 15:07, 21 April 2024  
1 killed, 7 missing after 2 Japanese military helicopters crash

One person was killed and seven went missing after two Japanese military helicopters crashed overnight at sea, the country’s defence ministry said on Sunday (April 21), Reuters reported.

A spokesperson for Japan’s Self-Defense Force (SDF) had earlier today confirmed the incident to AFP, adding that one person was rescued. This person has now been pronounced dead, as per PTI.

Giving details, Japan’s Defence Minister Minoru Kihara told reporters that rescuers located what they believe to be parts of the aircraft in the sea.

“Rescuers spotted what is believed to be part of the aircraft in the sea, and we believe that the two helicopters crashed. At this point the cause is unknown, but firstly we do our best to save lives,” Kihara said. He added that the helicopters were “doing drills to counter submarines at night”.

The helicopters were engaged in night-time drills to counter submarines when the incident occurred off the Izu Islands in the Pacific Ocean, as reported by Japanese national broadcaster NHK.

Communication with one helicopter was lost at 10:38 pm (1338 GMT) off the island of Torishima. A minute later, an emergency signal was received from this aircraft. Approximately 25 minutes later, around 11:04 pm, communication was lost with the second helicopter in the same area, as NHK reports.

The Mitsubishi SH-60K helicopters involved in the crash are operated by the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) primarily on and from naval destroyers.

The MSDF noted that there were no other aircraft or vessels in the nearby waters, making the involvement of another country unlikely. Japan’s increased defence spending and cooperation with allies in response to regional tensions, particularly from China and North Korea, have been noted in recent years.

(With inputs from agencies)