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11/06/2024 12:41 PM

TOKYO, June 11 (Bernama-Xinhua) -- Japan's Defence Ministry on Tuesday declared dead seven crewmen listed as missing since the fatal collision of two Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) patrol helicopters in April, reported Xinhua.

"I feel sorry as we searched hard for them. I'm also heartbroken for their families," Defence Minister Minoru Kihara said at a press conference, adding that the MSDF will continue to search for the bodies of the crewmen and the helicopter wreckage.

The death toll from the collision rose to eight, with only one body recovered so far.

The two SH-60K helicopters, each carrying four MSDF members, collided and crashed during a night drill on April 20 over the sea near Izu Islands, about 600 km south of Tokyo.

This type of helicopter has had a number of accidents during nighttime training flights, including a fatal crash in 2017 and a collision off the southern island of Amami Oshima in 2021 when no injuries were reported, local media reported.



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