During a training session in Australia’s Northern Territory, a military helicopter transporting over 20 U.S. Marines crashed. Tragically, three military personnel onboard lost their lives, and several others sustained injuries. The incident occurred on Melville Island, just off the coast of Darwin, as part of joint exercises involving military personnel from the U.S., Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste. The crash took place at approximately 9:30 a.m. local time. Australia’s Department of Defence spokesperson affirmed the occurrence, noting that no Australians were among the casualties.
“Defence can confirm an aircraft incident occurred mid-morning on 27 August on Melville Island, north of the city of Darwin, during Exercise Predator’s Run 2023. Initial reports suggest the incident involves United States defence personnel and that Australian Defence Force members were not involved. At this critical early stage, our focus is on the incident response and ensuring the safety of those involved.”
Following the aircraft crash on the Tiwi Islands, situated north of Darwin, numerous military personnel were successfully rescued. The Marine Rotational Force in Darwin issued a statement indicating that the MV-22B Osprey crash involving the U.S. Marine Corps resulted in the unfortunate loss of three lives, and an additional five individuals were conveyed to Royal Darwin Hospital in a critical state. Presently, recovery operations are in progress, and authorities are actively investigating the incident.
During a press briefing, Northern Territory Police Commissioner Michael Murphy conveyed that ongoing endeavors are being made to transport the remaining survivors to the hospital. Both the Australian Defence Force and the U.S. Marines have been engaged in these efforts.
A variety of injuries were sustained by the victims, with some being in critical condition, as stated by Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles.
During a prearranged press briefing in Western Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese characterized the crash as a heartbreaking occurrence.
In a communication to Fox News Digital, a representative from the U.S. Department of Defense acknowledged being informed about the news coverage but explained that they currently lack any information to share.
Sky News reported that the Predators’ Run exercises will be temporarily halted subsequent to the crash. Approximately 2,500 participants are engaged in these exercises, which encompass 500 individuals from the U.S., 120 from the Philippines, 120 from Indonesia, and 50 from Timor Leste.