US military aircraft crashes off Australia with marines feared killed

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A US Marine aircraft has crashed in Australia, with three service members missing, feared dead according to reports.

The MV-22 Osprey went down in in Shoalwater Bay, off the coast of Queensland near Rockhampton earlier today.

It's believed that 23 of the 26 people on board have been accounted for, some with serious injuries, according to the Herald Sun.

In a statement, the US Marine Corps said: "The United States Marine Corps confirms there is an active search and rescue operation ongoing for service members involved in an MV-22 mishap off the east coast of Australia."

Both ships and aircraft have been scrambled to aid the search operation.

The statement went on to say: "Ship's small boats and aircraft from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group are conducting the search and rescue operations.

"We will provide more detail as they become available.

The MV-22 Osprey aircraft is crewed by four people and can carry up to 32 troops.

It has a top speed of 351 miles per hour and has both vertical take off and landing and short take off and landing capabilities.

The crash comes just weeks after a US Marine Corps plane crashed in the Mississippi Delta, killing 16.



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