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5 missing U.S. Marines declared dead in plane crash off Japan

5 missing U.S. Marines declared dead in plane crash off Japan
A Japan Coast Guard ship and U.S. military plane are seen at sea off Kochi, southwestern Japan, on Dec. 6 during a search and rescue operation for missing crew members of a U.S. Marine refueling plane and fighter jet. (Associated Press)

The U.S. military has declared five missing crew members dead after their refueling plane collided with a fighter jet last week off Japan's southern coast, and halted search and recovery operations.

The five crew members were on a KC-130 refueling aircraft that collided Thursday with an F/A-18 Hornet during regularly scheduled training.

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Two crew members in the F/A-18 were recovered after the accident, but one died. The U.S. Marines said the survivor was in stable condition when rescued.

It said in a statement that the identities of the five people declared dead will be released after their next of kin are notified.

The crew members were based at Iwakuni air station near Hiroshima.

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