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One one of two Marines rescued after aircraft collision is dead, 5 still missing

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Abrego)

The Marines say that one of the two Marines rescued after two Marine Corps aircraft collided in mid-air and crashed into the sea off the coast of Japan is dead.

Seven Marines were involved in the incident that occurred during a refueling exercise but only two have been recovered.

The personnel had been aboard the aircraft, an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, and a KC-130 Hercules when the collision occurred.

“One of the recovered Marines is in fair condition and the other has been declared deceased by competent medical personnel,” a U.S. Marine Corps statement said.

U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged the incident and expressied his concern for the well being of the US Marines.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the @USMC (U.S. Marine Corps) crew members who were involved in a mid-air collision off the coast of Japan,” he tweeted.

The incident occurred around 2 a.m. local time in Japan (1700 GMT Wednesday) about 320 km (200 miles) off the Japanese coast, according to Reuters.

The U.S. military did not speculate on the cause of the collision.

“The incident is regrettable, but our focus at the moment is on search and rescue,” Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told a news conference. “Japan will respond appropriately once the details of the incident are uncovered.”

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