US helicopter makes emergency landing in Japan

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Associated Press

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 3:33 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 16 at 4:34 AM

TOKYO (AP) — A U.S. Navy helicopter made an emergency landing near Tokyo on Monday, injuring two crewmembers, U.S. and Japanese officials said.

Kanagawa prefectural police said the helicopter was carrying four crewmembers when it made the emergency landing at a landfill near Misaki Port, just west of Tokyo.

Footage on public broadcaster NHK showed the helicopter on its side, with its rotor blades apparently torn off and lying on the ground. There was no sign of fire.

U.S. Forces Japan spokesman David Honchul said two injured crewmembers from the MH-60 helicopter were taken to a hospital for treatment. Kyodo News agency said one suffered a broken leg and the other had bruises.

The cause of the accident and other details were not immediately known, Honchul said.

Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said no damage was reported in the surrounding area.

Accidents involving the U.S. military in Japan are highly sensitive. In August, a U.S. HH-60 military helicopter crashed on the southern island of Okinawa, killing one crewmember and triggering calls for tighter safety measures.

In 2004, a CH-53 helicopter crashed into a university building on the island, triggering a huge anti-U.S. base uproar although there were no civilian injuries and the crew survived.

About 50,000 American troops are stationed in Japan, about half of them on Okinawa.

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