Eight people rescued after US Navy aircraft crashes into Philippine Sea

Eight people have been rescued after a United States Navy aircraft crashed into the Philippine Sea on Wednesday, according to a statement from the U.S. Navy.

One of its aircraft, a C2-A Greyhound carrying 11 crew and passengers, crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa, Japan, at around 2:45 p.m. local time.

In a statement, the Navy said it had rescued a number of people.

"Search and rescue operations recovered eight personnel following a C2-A Greyhound aircraft crash southeast of Okinawa at approximately 3:23 p.m. today," the Navy said.

"All personnel were transferred to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) for medical evaluation and are in good condition at this time."

Search and rescue efforts for three personnel continue, with U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and aircraft on the scene, it added.

Lee Jin-man | AP
In this March 14, 2017, file photo, a U.S. Navy C-2 Greyhound approaches the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

The names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

The crash occurred approximately 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa, the Navy said.

The aircraft was conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to the Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is currently operating in the Philippine Sea.

The cause of the crash is not known at this time although Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera told reporters that the U.S. Navy had informed him that the crash could have been the result of engine trouble, Reuters reported.

The U.S. Navy said the incident will be investigated.

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