Rescuers are scanning waters off southern Japan for 10 folks on board a Japanese navy helicopter that apparently crashed into the ocean on Thursday, Protection Minister Yasukazu Hamada mentioned.
“I’ll proceed to do my greatest to gather data on the harm and seek for human lives,” mentioned Hamada, who appeared visibly overcome with emotion when he spoke to reporters Friday.
Gen. Yasunori Morishita, chief of employees of Japan’s Floor Self-Protection Power (GSDF), mentioned searchers had discovered what gave the impression to be elements of the the UH-60JA helicopter within the sea and are persevering with to scan the ocean for survivors.
If no survivors are discovered, the crash could be Japan’s deadliest navy aviation accident since 1995, Japan’s Protection Ministry mentioned.
The lacking troops embrace two pilots, two mechanics and 6 passengers, amongst them Lt. Gen. Yuichi Sakamoto, a senior GSDF commander, Morishita mentioned.
Sakamoto, commander of the eighth Division, had been newly appointed to his function on March 30, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported Friday.
The helicopter – which was surveying the native space – went lacking Thursday at 3:56 p.m. native time after disappearing from radar screens off the coast of Miyako Island within the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, in line with the Protection Ministry.
Miyako Island – adjoining to the East China Sea – is about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Taiwan and is house to a JGSDF missile unit.
A spokesperson from the Japan Coast Guard advised CNN that round 6:50 p.m. native time on Thursday, a patrol boat retrieved a lifeboat with the phrases “Floor Self-Protection Power” written on it from the ocean.
The spokesperson added that early Friday morning, a window body, a door with “Floor Self-Protection Power” written on it and a rotor blade have been recovered in waters north of Irabu Island, which is related to Miyako Island by a bridge.
In accordance with producer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the UH-60JA is a multipurpose helicopter primarily based on the US navy’s Black Hawk helicopters.
The final time no less than 10 folks have been misplaced in a Japanese navy aviation accident was on February 21, 1995, when a Maritime Self-Protection Power flying boat crashed in Kochi prefecture, southern Japan, killing 11 folks, the Protection Ministry mentioned.
In February 1984, 12 died when a flying boat crashed in waters off the west coast of Ao Island in Ehime prefecture, the ministry mentioned.