Five Marines missing after military aircraft carrying seven collide off Japan

Image: The U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan.
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Kyodo via AP file
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TOKYO — Search operations continued Thursday for five missing U.S. Marines after a pair of planes carrying seven Marines collided about 200 miles off Japan in a refueling accident, U.S. and Japanese authorities said.

The planes, a KC-130 extended-range tanker carrying five crew members and an F/A-18 combat jet carrying two, "came in contact in the air" and crashed into the sea at around 1:42 a.m. Thursday (11:42 a.m. ET Wednesday), said Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary.

The Japanese Defense Ministry said Friday local time that the two other Marines had been rescued.

The Marines said one of them was taken back to base for treatment. There was no immediate information on the second rescued Marine.

The aircraft had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, on a regularly scheduled training exercise, the Marines said. Suga said the Defense Ministry had asked the United States for more information.

Arata Yamamoto reported from Tokyo. Alex Johnson reported from Los Angeles.