TOKYO (AP) — U.S. and Japanese divers have discovered wreckage and remains of crew members from a U.S. Air Force Osprey aircraft that crashed last week off southwestern Japan, the Air Force announced Monday.
The CV-22 Osprey carrying eight American crew crashed last Wednesday off Yakushima island during a training mission. The body of one victim was recovered and identified earlier, while seven others remained missing.
The Air Force Special Operations Command said the remains were being recovered and their identities have yet to be determined.
“The main priority is bringing the Airmen home and taking care of their family members. Support to, and the privacy of, the families and loved ones impacted by this incident remains AFSOC's top priority,” it said in a statement.
The U.S. military identified the one confirmed victim as Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday.
On Monday, divers from the Japanese navy and U.S. military spotted what appeared to be the front section of the Osprey, along with possibly five of the missing crew members, Japan's NHK public television and other media reported.
Japanese navy officials declined to confirm the reports, saying they could not release details without consent from the U.S.
The U.S.-made Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but can rotate its propellers forward and cruise much faster, like an airplane, during flight.
Ospreys have had a number of crashes, including in Japan, where they are used at U.S. and Japanese military bases, and the latest crash rekindled safety concerns.
Japan has suspended all flights of its own fleet of 14 Ospreys.