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    2 Japanese Navy Helicopters Crash in the Pacific Ocean During Training, Leaving 1 Dead and 7 Missing

    2 Japanese Navy Helicopters Crash in the Pacific Ocean During Training, Leaving 1 Dead and 7 Missing

    (AP) — Two Japanese navy helicopters carrying eight crew members crashed in the Pacific Ocean south of Tokyo during nighttime training in a possible collision, leaving one dead while rescuers on Sunday searched for seven others missing, the defense minister said.

    The two SH-60K choppers from the Maritime Self-Defense were carrying four crew each and lost contact late Saturday near Torishima island, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) south of Tokyo, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara told reporters.

    The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but officials believe the two helicopters “highly likely” collided before crashing into the water, Kihara said.

    The navy chief of staff, Adm. Ryo Sakai, said training involving the SH-60s will be suspended until the cause of the crash is determined and preventive measures are adopted.

    Rescuers recovered a flight data recorder, a blade from each helicopter, and fragments believed to be from both choppers in the same area, signs that the two SH-60Ks were flying close to each other, Kihara said.

    Search and rescue efforts for the missing crew were expanded Sunday with the deployment of 12 warships and seven aircraft. coast guard patrol boats and planes also joined the operation.

    U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel offered his country's to help with the search and rescue.

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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