Two US Marine Aircraft Collide While Refueling Off Japan

Trump lauds rescue efforts after Japan crash

A search and rescue operation is under way in Japan after an incident involving two US Marine Corps aircraft.

A USA defense official told AFP there had been a crash after the plane took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan.

The US has more than 50,000 troops stationed in Japan, more than 18,000 of them in the US Marine Corps.

Search and rescue operations were underway following a "mishap".

The aircraft are a KC-130 refuelling plane and an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet. Japanese search and rescue aircraft were immediately deployed and rescued at least one Marine.

In a statement, the Marine Corps said the planes had taken off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan. "The aviators retained their wings and will continue service to their country as valued members of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing", he said.

"The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation", the statement said.

In November, a United States navy fighter jet crashed into the sea off Japan's southern island of Okinawa and its 2 crew members were rescued alive.

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