US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew and passengers crashes into Philippine Sea

The Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement that a search and rescue operation had been launched from the carrier.

The C-2 Greyhound transport aircraft came down about 500 nautical miles (925km) southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement.

Navy officials said 8 people were rescued and in "good condition".

Eight people were rescued about 40 minutes later.

It said the ship was operating in the Philippines Sea when the crash happened at 2.45 p.m.

The cause of the crash was unclear, as was whether any of those aboard the aircraft had survived.

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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.

The aircraft was traveling to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, which is now operating in the Philippine Sea, when it went down. Japan's Defence Ministry said the crash site is about 150km northwest of Okinotorishima, a Japanese atoll.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters provided no additional details or comment on the incident.

"From the United States military, we have received an initial report that engine trouble might be the cause", he said.

Names of the crew and passengers have not been released. "Prayers for all involved".

And the deadliest accident came on August 21, when 10 US sailors were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with commercial vessel Alnic MC in waters east of Singapore, according to the Navy.

  • Adam Floyd