Thursday, 15 December 2016
Tokyo: The US Marines suspended their controversial Osprey flights in Japan as anger mounts over an accident that saw the aircraft apparently crash land off the southern island of Okinawa.
Five crew members aboard the MV-22 Osprey were injured late Tuesday when the tilt-rotor aircraft suffered a “mishap” and landed in shallow water, the Pentagon said.
But that characterisation was belied by footage aired on Japanese public broadcaster NHK, which showed the main wings of the Osprey broken in half and the cockpit separated from half-submerged fuselage drifting ashore.
The incident quickly sparked anger on Okinawa where the local governor has spearheaded a campaign against the presence of US bases, while in Tokyo the government demanded a halt to flights.
Defence Minister Tomomi Inada called US Forces Japan commander Jerry Martinez and asked him to provide further information about the accident and suspend operations of the aircraft until safety concerns are allayed.
An Okinawa-based public affairs officer for the Marines confirmed that they have suspended Osprey flights, adding that further details would be released later.
Source by: Internet