8 rescued, 3 missing after US Navy cargo plane crashes off Japan

The Nov. 16-26 joint exercise in waters off Okinawa has been described by the Navy as the "premier training event" between the USA and Japanese navies, created to increase defensive readiness and interoperability in air and sea operations.

The propeller powered transport plane, a C-2 Greyhound, carries personnel, mail and other cargo from mainland bases to carriers operating at sea.

While confirming the news, Japan's defense minister said, eight of the people on board have been found, but it was not clear whether they are alive or not.

A US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew and passengers has crashed into the sea off the coast of Japan. The cause of the crash was not immediately known and an investigation would be carried out, it said.

"A United States Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa", a statement from the Navy said.

A C-2A Greyhound assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan on Nov 17. But Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said, "I have been informed from the USA military that engine trouble may have caused (the crash)", per CNN.

The incident occurred around 2.45pm local time (00:45am EST) and recovery is underway. It was taking part in an ongoing joint U.S. -Japan naval exercise.

It was further added, "The names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending next of kin notification".

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

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