One feared dead in Japan military jet crash

One of the six crew members of a military plane that crashed in southern Japan was feared dead Thursday, local media reported, citing a Defence Ministry official.

The ministry had first reported all of the six were dead after authorities found the wreckage on Kyushu island, but it then corrected the number, local media reported.

Hundreds of troops and local police were deployed in the search earlier Thursday despite fog, wind and heavy rain in a mountainous area in Kagoshima prefecture.

The 15-metre twin-engine jet disappeared from radar at around 2:30 pm Wednesday (0535 GMT) about 10 kilometres north of the Kanoya military air base, officials said.

The aircraft was flying at an altitude of 880 metres when it went missing, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters late Wednesday.

There was thick cloud above the air base around 2 pm Wednesday, Kyodo News reported, citing Meteorological Agency officials.

In February 2015, a military helicopter crashed after leaving the base on a mountain in neighbouring Miyazaki prefecture, killing three crew members, Kyodo said.

Last update: Thu, 07/04/2016 - 12:30

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