At least three US Marines were killed in an aircraft crash on the Australian Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin, according to US military officials. The incident occurred during routine training exercises on the remote Melville Island, around 60km off the coast from Darwin. Another five Marines are in a serious condition and have been transported to the Royal Darwin Hospital.
The crash involved an MV-22B Osprey helicopter, with a total of 23 Marines on board. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the crash as “tragic” and stated that Australian personnel were not involved. He emphasized that the government’s focus is on incident response and providing support and assistance during this difficult time.
The crash occurred during the Exercise Predators Run, which involved participants from Australia, the US, the Philippines, Indonesia, and East Timor. The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft was being used for the training exercise.
This incident follows a recent helicopter crash during bilateral exercises in Queensland, in which four Australian soldiers lost their lives. The US and Australia have been increasing their military cooperation in response to the growing assertiveness of China in the region.