Eight rescued after US Navy aircraft crashes into Philippine sea

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TOKYO Eight people have been rescued after a United States military aircraft with 11 people aboard crashed into the Philippine Sea en route to an aircraft carrier, Japan said yesterday.

Japanese and American rescuers scrambled to reach the downed aircraft in waters off the remote Japanese reef of Okinotori, in the latest accident to hit American armed forces in East Asia.

The government in Tokyo said US authorities had said engine trouble was the suspected cause of the accident.

The aircraft was en route to the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the US Navy said.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said a joint search-and-rescue mission had been launched.

There was no immediate information on what kind of aircraft was involved, but over 60 planes and helicopters of different types operate from the USS Ronald Reagan, according to the carrier group's website. - AFP