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U.S. Air Force Helicopter Crashes in Okinawa

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A United States Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter, carrying four servicemen, crashed into the mountains of Okinawa, Japan, killing one and injuring the others. The cause is still unknown.

Three of the four crew members have been safely rescued. The fourth crew member is presumed dead and no other information has been released. No name or other information has been released pending notification of next of kin.

The HH-60 helicopter was on an unspecified mission approximately 2km outside the U.S. Military base when the accident occurred. According to Japanese official, the accident occurred over a residential area. No causalities were reported on the ground.

“This is really regrettable. We are asking the U.S. side for a speedy supply of information”, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters and reported by the Tokyo Times. “We plan to strongly demand for investigation into the cause of the accident and measures to prevent a recurrence”.

Japanese officials report a growing concern over the continued U.S. presence and are presenting plans to have the Okinawa base moved to a less populated area. This plan is opposed by local residents as they generally associate the marines with increased crime and other undesirable conditions. 

At the request of the Japanese government the United States is suspending further maneuvers until the cause of the crash can be determined.

Sources: Wikipedia, Tokyo Times,

 

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