One Marine rescued, 6 missing after planes collide off Japan

One Marine rescued, 6 missing after planes collide off Japan

The Marine Corps said the planes "were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred". Search and rescue efforts were ongoing, United States and Japanese officials said.

United States media say the two planes crashed during mid-air refuelling but this has not been officially confirmed.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one of the aircraft was an F/A-18 fighter jet while the other was a KC-130 refueling aircraft, with a combined total of seven personnel aboard.

One survivor has been rescued by Japanese search teams but the six others remain missing.

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Of the seven crew members on board the planes - five on the KC-130 and two on the F/A-18 - only one has been found so far.

The U.S. military's III Marine Expeditionary Force, headquartered in Okinawa Prefecture, voiced gratitude to the MSDF for their help.

The rescued person had been on the F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, and was a in stable condition at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told a news conference.

The aircraft are based in the US Marine Corps base in Iwakuni, west of Hiroshima.

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The military did not release the circumstances of the crash, saying the accident was still under investigation.

The F/A-18 is a two-seater jet.

And in mid-October, an MH-60 Seahawk belonging to the same carrier crashed off the Philippine Sea after takeoff.

More than 50,000 USA troops are based in Japan under the bilateral security pact.

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