A US Marine Corps AV-8 Harrier fighter jet crashed into the ocean off the coast of southwestern Okinawa in Japan Thursday.
The pilot of the crashed aircraft ejected safely and was rescued.The cause of the crash is still under investigation, Japan Times reported Friday.
The Japanese Coast Guard initially received a request to help in the rescue. The request was withdrawn after a US Air Force helicopter recovered the pilot, a coast guard official was quoted as saying by the news daily.
Similar crashes had also taken place in the past. In 2004, a US military helicopter crashed into a university campus in Okinawa, although students were on summer vacation and the accident did not cause any civilian deaths or injuries. Harrier jets alone have been involved in a total of 18 accidents since Okinawa reverted to Japanese rule in 1972.
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