US military personnel in Australia air crash, no deaths reported

SYDNEY, Aug 27 (Reuters) – An aircraft incident involving U.S. military personnel occurred mid-morning on Sunday during an exercise in Australia’s Northern Territory, Australia’s Defence Ministry said, while a broadcaster said one person was in critical condition.

Sky News Australia reported a v-22 Osprey helicopter with about 20 U.S. Marines on board had crashed off the coast of Darwin.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said one person was in critical condition, two were stable and there were no reports of fatalities after the crash on the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin.

Northern Territory Police were responding to reports of an aircraft crash on Melville Island, the fire and emergency services said in an emailed statement.

“Initial reports suggest the incident involves United States defence personnel and that Australian Defence Force members were not involved,” the ministry said in an emailed statement.

It said the incident occurred on Melville Island north of Darwin during Exercise Predator’s Run 2023.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was previously scheduled to hold a press conference at 0520 GMT, his office said.

The U.S. and Australia, a key ally in the Pacific, have been stepping up military cooperation in recent years in the face of an increasingly assertive China.

Four Australian soldiers were killed last month during large bilateral exercises when their helicopter crashed into the ocean off the coast of Queensland.

Reporting by Sam McKeith in Sydney and Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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