US military plane carrying more than 20 marines crashes over Australia, all injured
A military helicopter carrying more than 20 US Marines crashed Sunday morning during an exercise in Australia’s Northern Territory, injuring military personnel on board, according to officials.
23 Marines were injured, some seriously, when the V-22 Osprey helicopter crashed at about 11am local time near Melville Island off the coast of the city of Darwin as military personnel from the US, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Timor – Leste was participating in exercise drills.
A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Defense confirmed the incident in a statement to Fox News Digital and said no Australians were involved in the accident.
“Defence can confirm that an aircraft incident occurred in the mid-morning of August 27 on Melville Island, north of the city of Darwin, during Exercise Predator’s Run 2023,” the spokesman said. “Initial reports suggest that the an incident involving United States defenders and not involving members of the Australian Defense Force. At this critical early stage, we are focused on responding to the incident and ensuring the safety of those involved.”
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Several military personnel were rescued from the plane crash on the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin, and no deaths were reported.
The Northern Territory Police Commissioner, Michael Murphy, said at a press conference that five Marines were transported to the Royal Darwin Hospital and that efforts are continuing to bring the remaining ones in there. The Australian Defense Force and US Marines were involved in the effort.
“We are doing everything we can to get them safely back to Darwin for treatment,” Murphy said in Darwin.
Victims suffered a wide range of injuries, some seriously, Northern Territory Premier Natasha Fyles said.
Premier Anthony Albanese called the crash a “sad” event at a previously scheduled press conference in Western Australia.
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“Our focus as a government and as a defense department is very much on incident response and ensuring that all support and assistance is provided at this difficult time,” said the Prime Minister.
A spokesperson for the US Department of Defense said in a statement to Fox News Digital that it is “sensitive to the public reporting this, but we have nothing to provide at this time.”
The Predators’ Run exercise will be halted after the crash, according to Sky News. About 2,500 people are involved in the exercises, including 500 from the US, 120 from the Philippines, 120 from Indonesia and 50 from Timor Leste.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.