US Navy. Photo: Reuters
Washington (People's Daily) - Three crewmembers remain missing after a US Navy plane crashed into the Philippine Sea en route to the USS Ronald Reagan on November 22.
“A C2-A Greyhound transport plane from the 7th Fleet was carrying 11 crew and passengers to an aircraft carrier when it crashed into the Philippine Sea around 2:45 p.m., while en route to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. The eight personnel were rescued within 40 minutes, at approximately 3:23 p.m., they were transferred to the Ronald Reagan for medical evaluation,” said an official statement from the US Navy.
Search and rescue efforts continue for the remaining three crewmembers.
By Thursday morning US Navy officials and Japanese forces had covered more than 320 nautical miles while searching for the three crewmembers.
“Our entire focus is on finding all of the sailors,” said US Navy Rear Admiral Marc H. Dalton, adding, “US and Japanese ships and aircraft are searching the area of the crash and will be relentless in efforts.”
The names of the crewmembers have not been released pending next of kin notification. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. The 7th Fleet said an investigation will be conducted.
Yesterday’s crash marks the third accident the 7th Fleet has had in Asian waters this year.
In June, the USS Fitzgerald August collided with a cargo vessel leaving seven US sailors dead.
In August, the USS John McCain collided with a merchant ship in Singapore, killing 10 US sailors. And days after the accident, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin was relieved of duty.