US grounds transport helicopters in Japan after fiery crash

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The US military has decided to ground it transport helicopters operating in Japan, after one of them was involved in a fiery crash near a villiage in Okinawa on Wednesday.

Major General Charles Chiarotti, deputy commander of US Forces Japan, announced the decision on Thursday.

The CH-53E helicopter caught fire in midair during a training flight over the US military’s Northern Training Area on the main island of Okinawa and burst into flames as it made an emergency landing 300 meters away from residential houses.

All of the chopper’s seven crews survived the crash which was rated as the most serious “Class A” mishap by the US Naval Safety Center.

Apparently, the aircraft went down after a fire broke out in the engine, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.

The Japanese government asked US officials to clarify the cause of the accident. Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga also expressed dismay over the incident after exploring the…

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