An engine fire in the US F-16 fighter jet forced the pilot to dump fuel tanks into the lake of Ogawara, Japan, local media reported Tuesday, citing Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.
The engine of the F-16 fighter jet caught fire almost immediately after taking off from Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture at around 8:40 am on Tuesday morning, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera announced at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, Reuters reports.
The aircraft returned to the home base after dumping the fuel tanks into the lake, the Kyodo news agency reported, providing no information on possible victims.
Japanese authorities contacted the US military to seek an explanation. The Misawa Defense Office said no injuries or damage have yet been confirmed in the wake of the incident.
The Misawa air base is located on the Japanese Honshu Island and hosts both US and Japanese troops. Misawa is also reportedly one of a few foreign airfields where the Americans station their advanced fifth-generation F-22 Raptor fighters on a rotational basis.