TOKYO, December 4. /TASS/. The death toll from last week’s crash of the US Osprey convertible in Japan last week has grown to six, Japan’s Ministry of Defense has said.
Earlier on Monday, rescuers searching the crash site found the bodies of five crew members.
It was the worst Osprey crash in terms of casualties since this type of aircraft entered into full-scale service. In 2000, when Osprey was still in the development phase, its crash claimed 19 lives.
The Osprey CV-22 crashed about one kilometer off the coast of Yakushima Island on November 29. There were eight people on board. The lost convertible was assigned to the US base Yokota in the suburbs of Tokyo. It was flying from Iwakuni base (in Yamaguchi Prefecture) to Kadena base (in Okinawa Prefecture). According to witnesses, flames were erupting from one engine during the descent. It remains unclear for now what caused the crash.
There have been many incidents involving US convertible planes over years. In 2012, two Osprey aircraft crashed in the US state of Florida and in Morocco. In 2016, an incident occurred in the Persian Gulf area. One Marine died. In August 2017, a convertible crashed off the east coast of Australia. On August 27 this year, a V-22 Osprey crashed in northern Australia, killing three US Marines. Five others were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The convertible with 23 Marines on board was participating in the Predator's Run exercise.