7 MSDF Members Declared Dead after Helicopter Crash in April


Tokyo, June 11 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force said Tuesday that it has concluded that seven crew members who went missing after a collision of two MSDF patrol helicopters in April are dead.

The collision near Torishima, a Tokyo island in the Izu chain in the Pacific, also claimed the life of a copilot, who was confirmed dead at the crash site.

On April 20, the two SH-60K helicopters lost contact during a nighttime antisubmarine exercise. The MSDF has concluded that they collided with each other and crashed into the water, based on an analysis of the flight recorders.

No clues have been found in the MSDF’s search for the helicopters and missing crew members as the water around the crash site is more than 5,000 meters deep.

“The incident occurred during crucial and advanced training. We’ve been searching hard, but it is very regrettable that we ended up in this situation,” Defense Minister Minoru Kihara told a news conference.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press