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SECURITY > Okinawa

U.S. military helicopter bursts into flames when making emergency landing in Okinawa

  • October 12, 2017
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Asahi, Mainichi, and Tokyo Shimbun front-paged reports saying that according to the Ministry of Defense, a U.S. military Futenma-based CH-53 transport helicopter burst into flames when it made an emergency landing on privately-owned land near the Northern Training Area in Okinawa at around 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday. None of the helicopter’s seven crewmembers or local citizens were injured in the incident. The U.S. Marines announced on Wednesday that the helicopter made an emergency landing after catching fire midflight and that they are investigating the cause of the incident. Defense Minister Onodera told reporters that Japan will call on the U.S. military to ensure the safe operation of its aircraft. Director General Nakajima of the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa defense bureau called on Okinawa Area Coordinator Nicholson to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident and take measures to prevent a recurrence. Prime Minister Abe said in a TV program that the accident was very regrettable. The papers wrote that local citizens expressed strong concern over operations of U.S. military aircraft, noting that the helicopter that crashed on Wednesday is the same type that crashed on Okinawa International University in 2004. Yomiuri, Nikkei, and Sankei ran similar reports in their city news sections.

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