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At Least 1 Dead After U.S. Military Aircraft Crashes into Sea Near Japan

Japan Coast Guard patrol boats found debris believed to be from an Osprey aircraft near Yakushima Island on Wednesday

<p>Kyodo News via AP</p> A Japan

Kyodo News via AP

A Japan's coast guard vessel conducts a search and rescue operation near Yakushima Island

At least one person is dead after a U.S. military aircraft crashed near an island off the coast of Japan on Wednesday morning.

The Japan Coast Guard confirmed to CNN that they received information about the crash around 2:47 p.m. local time after they received an emergency call from a fishing boat near Yakushima Island, which is around 130 miles south of Japan's Kyushu Island, according to the Associated Press.

The 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters dispatched a patrol boat and aircraft to the area, per CNN. When the patrol boats got to the area at around 4 p.m. they rescued one man who was “unconscious and was not breathing” from the sea about 1.8 miles from Anbo Port, according to NBC News.

The person was later pronounced dead at a local area hospital, per AP. Those dispatched to the area also found debris believed to be from the aircraft along with an empty inflatable life raft.

<p>Kyodo News via AP</p> A Japan's coast guard vessel conducts a search and rescue operation near Yakushima Island

Kyodo News via AP

A Japan's coast guard vessel conducts a search and rescue operation near Yakushima Island

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Japan Coast Guard officials confirmed to CNN that an Osprey military aircraft crashed and that six people were onboard — which was revised from officials’ initial report that there were eight passengers and crew.

Kazuo Ogawa, a Coast Guard spokesperson, told AP that the status of the five other members of the aircraft was currently unknown and that they are still investigating the cause of the crash.

<p>Kyodo News via AP</p>

Kyodo News via AP

The U.S. Coast Guard did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

“The government will confirm information about the damage and place the highest priority on saving lives,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, per AP. The crash has been classified as an attempted emergency sea landing, according to the outlet.

<p>Alamy</p> A Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft of the United States Air Force (USAF) 353rd Special Operations Group, at Yokota Airbase, Tokyo, Japan.

Alamy

A Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft of the United States Air Force (USAF) 353rd Special Operations Group, at Yokota Airbase, Tokyo, Japan.

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Japan’s Vice Defense Minister Hiroyuki Miyazawa told reporters, per NBC News, that it was a CV-22 Osprey from the U.S. Air Force Yokota Air Base that had been involved in the crash.

According to the official website for the U.S. Marine Corps, the V-22 Osprey is a “multi-engine, dual-piloted” and “tilt-rotor” aircraft. This means that it takes off and lands like a helicopter but acts similar to an airplane in flight, according to NBC News. A CV-22 Osprey is a variant utilized by the Air Force and SOCOM for “special operations missions.”

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There have been several crashes involving Osprey aircraft this year, including one in August when a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey crashed on Melville Island in Australia killing three and injuring at least 20 others.

Last year in June, five marines also died after an MV-22B Osprey crashed during a training mission near Glamis, Calif.

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