Six US marines were missing after 2 American military aircraft crashed on Thursday during a refueling operation off the coast of Japan, officials from both countries told AFP. Search and rescue efforts were ongoing, U.S. and Japanese officials said.
Of the seven crew members on board the planes - five on the KC-130 and two on the F/A-18 - only one has been found so far.
The crash took place 320 kilometers (200 miles) off the coast. A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it occurred during a refuelling exercise.
The C-130 was thought to be carrying 5 servicemen and the F-18 two, said the Japanese official, who added that Japan had scrambled 4 aircraft and 3 ships in the search.
U.S. media say the two planes crashed during midair refuelling but this has not been officially confirmed.
Reports on Twitter indicate that two USA military aircraft have crashed during a midair refueling operation off Iwakuni, Japan.
The Marine Corps said Japanese search-and-rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery efforts.