Six US troops are missing after two US Marine Corps planes crashed into air during a refueling operation off the coast of Japan, they told AFP officials from both countries.
The planes involved were an F-18 fighter and a C-130 fighter as part of an "accident recorded about 200 miles [300 km] from the coast of Japan at 02:00 local time (1700 GMT on Wednesday), according to a statement by the Marine Corps.
One of the seven people on board the two aircraft was rescued, said a spokesperson for the Japanese self-defense forces at the AFP, which mobilized four aircraft and three ships for operations.
"Currently being examined by the competent medical authorities in the base of Iwakuni" near Hiroshima, they said in a statement marine officers.
"The search and rescue operations of the remaining six marines are still ongoing," they added, investigating the circumstances of the mid-air collision.
According to the first elements of the investigation, five members of the crew were on board the C-130 and two others on the F-18.
"We appreciate the efforts of the Japanese self-defense forces who responded immediately in search and rescue operations," said the Marine Corps.
The planes took off from the Marine Corps air base in Iwakuni and "regularly performed scheduled training when the accident occurred," reads the note.
The US military has about 50,000 soldiers in the Japanese territory.
In November, an American Navy fighter plane crashed off the coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa and its two crew members were rescued alive.
Even the US military had problems with their Osprey helicopters: they had to make several emergency landings, suffered a fatal accident and a piece of one of the devices fell on the ground of a Japanese school.
These incidents fueled tensions between Washington and Tokyo, two close military allies, and led to protests against the deployment of Osprey helicopters by residents living near US bases.
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