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2 Japanese military helicopters with 8 occupants crash in the Pacific Ocean


Tokyo: Two Japanese military helicopters with a total of eight crew members on board crashed over the Pacific Ocean during a nighttime exercise, according to the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo.

One person was rescued but later pronounced dead, Defense Minister Kihara Minoru said on Sunday, according to Japanese media. The seven other crew members were missing. The search for them was on.

The ministry said contact with the two SH-60K helicopters was lost late Saturday during an anti-submarine exercise.

The ministry did not rule out the possibility that the two planes, each with four people on board, could have collided in mid-air in an area east of the Izu Islands, south of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean.

Minoru said the Japanese Self-Defense Forces had discovered floating debris in the sea believed to be from the helicopters.

(IANS)