US Navy plane crashes in Philippine Sea; three missing

The U.S. Navy says the aircraft was carrying 11 crew and passengers.

The aircraft was en route to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the Philippine Sea.

Search and rescue efforts continue for the other three people onboard the aircraft when it went down.

The government in Tokyo said it had been informed eight people had been plucked to safety, and that USA authorities had said engine trouble was the suspected cause of the accident.

The Japan-based USA 7th Fleet said in a statement that a search and rescue operation had been launched from the carrier. The Reagan is home-ported at the USA naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

The Navy says eight people have been recovered and are "in good condition" after a propeller-driven C-2 Greyhound carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed in the Philippine Sea southeast of Okinawa, Japan.

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The crash occurred at approximately 2:45 p.m. local time on Wednesday, the Navy said.

The accident is the latest in a series of disasters in 2017 for the 7th Fleet, which is stationed in Japan.

In January USS Antietam ran aground near its base in Japan, and in May, USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel.

The aircraft was taking part in an ongoing U.S. -Japan naval exercise off the coast of Okinawa in which some 14,000 U.S. personnel were participating.

The admiral in charge was removed from his position after his commanders lost confidence in his ability to lead and the Navy's top admiral ordered a fleetwide review of seamanship and training in the Pacific after the McCain collision.

  • Sonia Alvarado