A US navy transport plane carrying 11 people crashed in the Philippine Sea south of Japan on Wednesday as it flew to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan

The US Seventh fleet have confirmed that an aircraft carrying eleven people has crashed whilst conducting a routine transport flight from Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni to the carrier in the Philippine Sea south of Japan on Wednesday (22 November).

The propeller-powered transport plane is one of the C-2 Greyhound aircraft which have been in operation for over fifty years, and carries personnel, mail and other cargo from mainland bases to carriers operating at sea. The Japanese minister of defence, Itsunori Onodera, told reporters that he had been informed by the US Navy that the crash may have been a result of engine trouble.

The search continued through Wednesday and into Thursday morning.

“Searching through the night, several ships and aircraft covered more than 320 nautical miles (600 kilometres) as of this morning,” confirmed the US Navy in a statement on Thursday.

The eight rescued passengers have been transferred to the carrier for medical evaluation and are reported to be in good health, however three of the plane’s personnel still remain unaccounted for.

Continues below…

This is the fifth accident this year for the US Seventh. Last May the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Filipino merchant ship in Japan, which resulted in seven deaths.

The US Seventh fleet is based in Japan and patrols the Pacific and Indian oceans. Fears have now been raised over the effectiveness of the US Navy and its ability to patrol the area. Allies working in the region may consider that the service has become overstretched whilst constantly operating over too wide an area.

donald trump's tweet

President Donald Trump tweeted that the US Navy is monitoring the situation.