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Marine V-22 Osprey crash leaves 8 critical and 3 dead

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Marine V-22 Osprey, carrying US Marine crashed at Melville Island (80km-South to Darwin), left 20 injured and 3 dead on-site. Survivors were carried from Melville Island to Darwin as soon as possible and were admitted in Darwin’s hospital in north Australia.

Natasha Fyles, Chief Minister (Northern Territory) reported, all 20 survivors were carried to Darwin immediately after the aircraft crashed during the multinational training exercise on Sunday.

First 5 Marines were severely injured and got emergency surgeries at the Royal Darwin Hospital. While 12 been discharged on Monday.

Respecting their families and them, I would not disclose the conditions of rest 8 admitted back at hospital, Fyles said. While she added, “It’s, a credit to everyone involved that were able to get the 20 patients from an extremely remote location on an island into our territory hospital within a matter of hours.”

Since 2012, there have been around 5 accidents of Marine Ospreys leading to 16 deaths. Two Ospreys departed from Darwin to Melville during Sunday’s Predators Run Exercise including US, Indonesia, Philippines, East Timor and Australia.

Over the course of exercise, all marines were based at Darwin followed by annual troop rotations. Where around 150 U.S. Marines are based as a part of Asia-pacific U.S. force realignment for facing China.

Michael Murphy (Northern Territory Police Commissioner) reported, “The bodies of 3 Marines remained at the crash site where an exclusion zone would be maintained.” Further said, “The cause of crash has yet to be explained and investigators would remain at the site for at least 10 days.”

Northern Territory Commissioner Michael Murphy talks about the Marine V-22 Osprey crash, at a Darwin press conference, Australia on 28 August 2023.

Previously in June 2022, due to clutch related mechanical issue, a fiery crashed in California (east of San Diego) leaving 5 marines dead and since 2012, there have been 16 likely clutch issues. But replacement of a part in aircraft covered this issue since February.

Murphy stated. “For a chopper that crashes and catches fire, to have 20 marines that are surviving, I think that’s an incredible outcome.” 

Richard Marles (Defense Minister) shared his gratefulness about lesser deaths and said – “It’s remarkable that in many ways, so many have survived. This remains a very tragic incident and the loss of those lives are keenly felt.”

The Australia based U.S. Embassy expressed sympathy towards the families of the dead and followed up with the Australian teams for their help in this tragic incident.

Austin Lloyd (U.S. Defense Secretary), also remembered the dead marines in his tweet – “These Marines served our country with courage and pride, and my thoughts and prayers are with their families today, with the other troops who were injured in the crash, and with the entire USMC family.”

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