US military aircraft crashes over the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory
- Aircraft was carrying US marines
- It crashed at 9.43 on Sunday morning
A rescue operation is underway after a US military aircraft crashed in the Northern Territory at 9.43am local time on Sunday, with several members onboard missing and others injured.
CareFlight transported three patients, one of whom was in a critical condition, to Royal Darwin Hospital, arriving just before 3pm local time (3.30pm AEST).
The Royal Flying Doctors Service, Medical Rescue and the NT police have also responded to the incident.
The Boeing MV-22B Osprey aircraft was carrying around 20 US marines before it crashed on the remote Melville Island, which is part of the Tiwi Islands, about 80km off the coast from Darwin.
The Osprey is designed to be able to take off vertically like a helicopter, but they have the speed and range of a conventional plane,
A rescue operation is underway (pictured) after a US military aircraft crashed in the Northern Territory at 9.43am on Sunday, with several members onboard missing and others injured
The V-22 Osprey was carrying around 20 US marines before it crashed over the Tiwi Islands at 9.43am on Sunday. A V-22 Osprey is pictured
Several personnel have been rescued from the crash site and there are no reports of fatalities.
‘Initial reports suggest the incident involves United States defence personnel and that Australian Defence Force members were not involved,’ a Department of Defence spokesperson said.
‘At this critical early stage, our focus is on the incident response and ensuring the safety of those involved.
‘More information will be provided when appropriate.’
The crash comes as the Territory’s largest Australian-led military exercise, the Predators Run, is underway.
The exercise includes 2,500 soldiers, of whom around 500 are US marines. There are also soldiers from the Philippines, Indonesian and East Timor as well as Australian personnel.
The Predators Run exercises has reportedly been paused following the crash.
An aviation tracker Twitter account (pictured) reported that an ‘RAAF C-130 has been circling the area for some time and a Careflight helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft are also on scene’
An aviation tracker Twitter account reported that an ‘RAAF C-130 has been circling the area for some time and a Careflight helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft are also on scene’.
Last month, four Australian Defence Force personnel were killed when an MRH-90 Taipan ditched into the ocean off Lindeman Island, near Hamilton Island in north Queensland.
The crew had been participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre – joint military training between Australia, the US and 11 other ally countries.
The men killed in the crash were Captain Daniel Lyon, Lieutenant Maxwell Nugent, Corporal Alexander Naggs and Warrant Officer Class Two Joseph Phillip Laycock.
In 2017 three US marines were killed during a military training exercise when an MV-22 Osprey carrying 26 crew members ditched into the water off the Queensland coast at Shoalwater Bay.
The remaining 23 members of that crew were rescued.
US Marines are seen at the ADF Robertson Barracks in Darwin on Wednesday, March 23, 2022
In a statement issued before the crash, the NT’s Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles had welcomed the Predators Run military exercise.
‘The Northern Territory shares a long and proud military history with the United States, which has grown closer in recent years with the Marine Rotational Force stationed here,’ she said.
‘The Northern Territory is strategically significant for the defence of our nation, as well as our neighbours and allies, and we take our role seriously.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the NT Health Department for comment.