The U.S. Air Force launched a search and rescue operation Wednesday after a CV-22B Osprey with eight airmen on board crashed off the coast of Japan.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the crew’s conditions were unknown, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) said in a statement. The tiltrotor aircraft was assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
The mishap occurred during a routine training mission offshore of Yakushima Island, AFSOC confirmed. “Emergency personnel are on scene conducting search and rescue operations. The cause of the mishap is currently unknown,” AFSOC said.
The CV-22 is the AFSOC variant of the Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey, and is used by special operations forces for long-range infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply missions.
The Japanese coast guard reported that at least one of the eight crew members was killed, according to the Associated Press.
The crash occurred shortly before 3 p.m. local time as the aircraft was enroute from Yokota Air Base in western Japan to Kadena Air Base, Kyodo News reported. The coast guard said it received an emergency call at the time of the incident, along with reports that the aircraft’s left engine was on fire as the Osprey fell.
A second CV-22 flying with the aircraft landed safely on Yakushima Island, a local government spokesperson told Reuters.