3 US Marines dead after aircraft crashes during drills in Australia

The crash is the latest fatal crash the Osprey has had, with four US Marines being killed last year in Norway after the aircraft crashed during NATO exercises.

Three US Marines died Sunday after an Osprey aircraft crashed on a remote tropical island north of Australia during war games, US military officials said.

Five Marines had been rescued from the crash site and flown to a hospital in Darwin in a “serious condition,” the US officials said, while Australian police said they were triaging the rest of the injured crew at the scene.

“There were a total of 23 personnel on board,” US military officials said in a statement.

“Three have been confirmed deceased while five others were transported to Royal Darwin Hospital in a serious condition.”

Rescue efforts were complicated by the location of the crash – the remote and sparsely populated Melville Island about 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of the Australian mainland.

“Recovery efforts are ongoing,” US officials said, adding that an investigation into the cause of the incident had been launched.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the incident as “tragic” and “regrettable” but stressed that authorities were still trying to piece together what happened.

“We want to make sure that any information that is provided is absolutely accurate,” he told reporters.

The Osprey – a mix between a helicopter and a plane – was taking part in the Predators Run exercises, a joint series of warfighting drills involving thousands of soldiers from the US and Australia, as well as other militaries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

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