A U.S. Navy Knighthawk suffered a crash when it had to make an emergency landing at a landfill near the Misaki Port, west of Tokyo, on Monday. Two of the four crew members sustained injuries, with one suffering a broken leg while the other one got bruises from the incident. However, the cause of the accident has still not been revealed by authorities.
According to a Commander Naval Forces Japan spokesman, at around 3:31 p.m., the MH-60S, which is part of the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12, sent out a distress call. While it was trying to make an emergency landing in an empty area 10 miles southwest of the Yokosuka Naval Base, it crashed on its left side and footage from NHK showed that its rotor blade was lying on the ground after being torn off from the impact of the crash. U.S. Forces Japan spokesman David Honchul said that the two injured crew members were immediately brought to the nearby hospital for treatment.
Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said there was no reported damage to properties nearby. Although the area where the helicopter landed was empty, there were nearby establishments like the town fish market, docks, a beach and several restaurants. The safety of U.S. military helicopters are a controversial issue in Japan, particularly in Okinawa, which hosts majority of the U.S. armed forces in the region. The local government and residents have long protested the heavy military presence in the area especially due to the deployment of the MV-22 Ospreys, a hybrid aircraft with a spotty safety record elsewhere.
[ via Stars and Stripes ]