One Marine rescued, 6 missing after planes collide off Japan

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A U.S. defense official told AFP there had been a crash after the plane took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan.

Six U.S. military personnel were missing following a still-unexplained mishap off the coast of Japan on Thursday involving two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, which may have crashed in mid-air, U.S. officials said. Search and rescue operations were underway at the scene.

The planes involved are a KC-130 and an F/A-18 based at Iwakuni near Hiroshima and were carrying seven personnel, Marines officials said.

In a statement, the Marine Corps said the planes had taken off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan.

Further details about the incident were not immediately released.

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The Oct. 23 incident resulted in the West Coast Marine Corps training squadron launching an investigation into the flight pattern of a T-34C aircraft from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101.

A Marines statement said: "We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force's efforts as they immediately responded in the search and rescue operation".

The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation, the military added. "There is no additional information available at this time".

UPDATE: This story was updated at 5:45 P.M. on December 5 after one of the missing Marines was found alive.

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