US military declares five missing Marines dead after Japan crash


The US military said Tuesday it had pronounced five missing Marines dead and was ending search operations nearly a week after two US military aircraft crashed off Japan.

This brings the final toll in the December 6 crash to six, with a seventh crew member rescued after the deadly incident.

The crash which involved an F/A-18 fighter jet with two crew onboard and a KC-130 refuelling tanker with five crew occurred in the early morning around 100 kilometres (55 nautical miles) off the cape of Muroto in southwestern Japan.

A massive search and rescue operation were ordered, which the US military said had now been called off.

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