US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew crashes into sea near Okinawa, Japan

US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew crashes into sea near Okinawa, Japan

US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew crashes into sea near Okinawa, Japan

The 7th Fleet said the Reagan was conducting search and rescue operations.

A U.S. Navy transport plane carrying 11 people crashed in the Philippine Sea south of Japan on Wednesday as it flew to the aircraft carrier the Ronald Reagan, the U.S. Seventh Fleet said.

"Search and rescue" for the remaining three people is still underway, the Navy says.

It crashed at 2:45 p.m. local time Wednesday, the 7th Fleet said in a statement.

The cause of the crash is not yet known, the statement said.

The aircraft was headed to the US aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan, which is deployed to the Philippine Sea.

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Japanese and American rescuers scrambled to reach the downed aircraft in seas off the remote Japanese reef of Okinotori, in the latest accident to hit American armed forces in East Asia. Japan's Defence Ministry said the crash site is about 150km northwest of Okinotorishima, a Japanese atoll.

The White House and President Donald Trump have yet to comment on the matter. "The names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending next of kin notification". "Prayers for all involved".

A major rescue operation is now under way after the aircraft came down southeast of Okinawa.

Ten were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore in August, and seven died when the USS Fitzgerald ran into a much heavier container ship off the coast of Japan in June.

The Navy has concluded that the collisions were avoidable and resulted from widespread failures by the crews and commanders, who didn't quickly recognise and respond to unfolding emergencies.

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