Marines are declared dead; search ends - Pacific

Five Marines who have been missing since their plane collided with another jet near Japan have been declared dead, officials said Monday night.

Five days after a pair of us military aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan, the Marine Corps has called off its search and rescue efforts for five of the crew members involved.

The III Marine Expeditionary Force has officially pronounced the five remaining Marines that are still missing from the midair collision last week as deceased and have called off search and rescue operations. Their names were not immediately released.

The US planes had taken off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni near Hiroshima and "were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred", the III Marine Expeditionary Force said. Two Marines were rescued following the crash. "The change in status comes at the conclusion of search and rescue operations". One of them, Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, 28, later died, the Marine Corps said.

The accident was initially reported to have happened during a refuelling operation, but the military said Tuesday this had not been confirmed and that the circumstances were still under investigation.

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"Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by US, Japanese, and Australian forces during the search", Smith continued. "We know this hard decision was made after all resources were exhausted in the vigorous search for our Marines".

The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the USA military deployed to and near Japan.

"Our thoughts are heavy and our prayers are with all family and friends of all five aircrew", Maury said.

U.S. forced based in or near Japan have been involved in other serious accidents in recent years.

A Class A mishap is classified as an accident resulting in loss of life or permanent total disability, destruction of an aircraft or damage worth $2 million or more.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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