US military aircraft with eight aboard crashes off Japan island

A US military aircraft with eight personnel on board has crashed off Yakushima Island in Japan.

Japan's coast guard told the BBC that rescue workers have found a passenger who was "not breathing".

Local media also quoted officials who said the remains of the plane have likely been found off Yakushima.

Japanese broadcaster NHK said the CV-22 Osprey was trying to land at Yakushima Airport and that its left engine was on fire.

The aircraft was thought to be heading from Iwakuni base in the Yamaguchi region to Kadena base in Okinawa.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the aircraft disappeared from radar at 14:40 local time (05:40 GMT), Reuters reported.

The coast guard received a distress call seven minutes later, saying the plane had crashed.

It then sent six boats and two helicopters to the scene. Two choppers arrived at 16:00 and spotted what looked like a part of the plane and a life raft, a spokesperson told the BBC.

Yakushima, in Kagoshima prefecture, is located south of Japan's Kyushu island.

The Osprey is an aircraft that can function as a helicopter and a turboprop aircraft.

More than 50,000 US troops are stationed across Japan.

Some people living on the island of Okinawa, where the aircraft was headed, had previously voiced concerns about the safety of Osprey planes. Read More

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