Japanese air force plane disappears from radar with 6 people on board

PUBLISHED Wed, April 06, 2016 - 12:23pm EDT
Credit: NHK

A small Japanese Air Force plane carrying six people has disappeared from radar in southwestern Japan, prompting a search operation in a mountainous region where the aircraft may have crashed, officials say. (more)

The U125A aircraft took off from Kanoya Air Field on Kyushu island at 2:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday to carry out aerial inspections of airport facilities. The plane disappeared from radar screens at 2:35 p.m. when it was about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) north of the base.

The aircraft, which belongs to Japan's Air Self-Defense Force and is capable of carrying up to 16 people depending on its configuration, was said to have been carrying a total of 6 people. Their identities were not immediately released.

Japan's Ministry of Defense said a search-and-rescue operation involving multiple helicopters was underway in a mountainous area where the plane may have crashed, but nothing had been found as of late Wednesday night.

  Japan        166 UPDATES



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