Two US Marine planes crash while refueling off Japan

US Marine aircraft suffer 'mishap' off Japanese coast, search-and-rescue underway

A USA official told Fox News that seven Marines were on board the two aircraft.

Marine Corps officials confirmed the incident but offered little information in a statement.

Two US Marine Corps aircraft crashed during a refuelling operation off the coast of Japan, a US defence official told AFP on Wednesday. Search and rescue efforts are ongoing. Japanese officials said two crew members were in the F/A-18, and five others in the KC-130.

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The Maritime Self-Defense Force, which dispatched aircraft and vessels to join the rescue operation, said Japanese rescuers found one of the crew members in stable condition.

The U.S. Marine Corps said the crash involved an F/A-18 fighter jet and a KC-130 tanker aircraft.

They also said they were unsure how the mishap may have occurred but none suspected foul play.

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The last major US military aircraft incident occurred in May when an Air National Guard C-130 cargo plane crashed outside Savannah, killing all nine personnel on board.

The US military has about 50,000 troops stationed in Japan and accidents are not uncommon.

U.S. media say the two planes crashed during midair refuelling but this has not been officially confirmed.

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