News World Hunt for six US Marines after mystery midair ‘mishap’ off the coast of Japan
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Hunt for six US Marines after mystery midair ‘mishap’ off the coast of Japan

An F-18 and its aerial tanker may have gone done during midair refuelling, sources say. Photo: AAP
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•    Headline:
•    US military aircraft in ‘mishap’ off Japan
•    Abstract:

A massive search has been launched off the coast of Japan for six US military personnel after an apparent midair mishap involving a fighter jet and an aerial refuelling tanker.

As military officials begin their investigation details of the incident remain sketchy, but sources told Associated press one of the aircraft was a Marine Corps F-18 fighter jet, while the other was a KC-130 refuelling aircraft with a combined total of seven personnel aboard.

Japan’s defense ministry says its maritime forces have rescued one person. Search and rescue efforts are ongoing.

The incident occurred at 2am local time (4am AEDT) on Thursday, the Marine Corps said in a short statement that provided no explanation of the incident.

The aircraft had taken off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting a routine training exercise when radio contact was lost.

Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity were unsure how the mishap may have occurred and whether it happened during refuelling but none suspected foul play. An investigation has begun.

The Marine Corps said Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery efforts. It was unclear if US military officials were also assisting with the search.

-with AAP