Two American Military Aircraft Collide off Japanese Coast


An F/A-18 jet at a Marine Corps air station in Iwakuni, western Japan, earlier this year.

An F/A-18 jet at a Marine Corps air station in Iwakuni, western Japan, earlier this year.


Photo:

Kyodo/Associated Press

WASHINGTON—Two U.S. military aircraft with seven Marines aboard collided off the coast of Japan early Thursday, officials said.

Two Marines were rescued and are being cared for by medical personnel, officials said. A joint Japanese-U.S. search-and-rescue operation continued for the other five Marines.

The crash occurred about 2 a.m. local time when a KC-130 tanker with five personnel aboard and F/A-18 jet fighter with a crew of two collided off the island of Shikoku in Japan’s south.

Both planes departed from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were participating in a training exercise, officials said.

The cause of the accident was unclear, but officials said the fighter and the tanker plane could have collided during a midair refueling operation.

Write to Gordon Lubold at Gordon.Lubold@wsj.com



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