Debris found in hunt for missing Japanese helicopter

time:2023-05-31 01:25:04 source:The New York Times

A Japanese military helicopter which went missing with 10 people aboard is thought to have crashed into the sea in Okinawa prefecture, officials say.

Floating debris that could be aircraft parts has been spotted during a search and rescue operation, they say.

"We believe that an air accident has occurred," General Yasunori Morishita told reporters in Tokyo.

The UH60 helicopter, known as the Black Hawk, vanished from radar screens near the Miyako island on Thursday.

The four-blade, twin-engine transport helicopter used by Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force (GSDF) went missing at about 15:55 local time (06:55 GMT), the military said.

It was surveying the local area at the time it disappeared.

Japan's Coast Guard says patrol ships later retrieved a folded lifeboat that apparently belongs to the GSDF, according to Kyodo News.

Oil, and objects including what could be part of a rotor blade, have also been found in the sea the news agency reported.

The Miyako island - located about 400km (250 miles) east of Taiwan - houses a GSDF missile unit.

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