Helicopter Crashes on US Base in Japan

One crew member injured: report
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2013 7:40 AM CDT
Updated Aug 5, 2013 8:12 AM CDT
Helicopter Crashes on US Base in Japan
Smoke billows from the crash site of a helicopter at Camp Hansen, on the southern island of Okinawa, Japan, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

A US military helicopter crashed today on the Japanese island of Okinawa, and Japan's defense minister says three of those in the chopper ejected themselves to safety while one was injured and hospitalized. No locals were hurt in the crash at US Marine Camp Hansen, though Reuters notes that the incident is likely to stoke anti-American sentiment. Firefighters were sent out after the crash, which apparently caused a mountainside fire. The crash's cause is unclear, the AP notes, and Japan is calling on the US for information. "We plan to strongly demand (an) investigation into the cause of the accident and measures to prevent a recurrence," says the defense minister.

Okinawa is home to most Japan-based US military members, and accidents such as this one, as well as crime and pollution, have frustrated those who call the island home. "We knew (a situation like this) was going to happen sooner or later," says a local mayor. The crash comes ahead of the controversial planned deployment of US Osprey aircraft in Okinawa, the AP adds. (Read more Japan stories.)

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