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Second incident of part falling off US helicopter and landing a school, child injured

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Mairne Super Stallion CH-53
Photo by Cpl. Reba James

TOKYO — A window that fell from a US CH-53E Super Stallion military helicopter flying over the Japanese region of Okinawa landed on the property of a primary school below, local media reported on Wednesday.

Upon impact in the playground of the primary school of Ginowan city, the almost 18-pound window sent shards and debris swirling, injuring one pupil who was only 16 feet away at the time.

Worried parents hurried to the school, while the US military issued and apology.

The incident is the latest in a string of US military mishaps in the region. The bulk of the US military presence in Japan is stationed in Okinawa, a chain of islands off the southern tip of the country.

In recent days, a plastic helicopter component was found on the roof of a kindergarten. Many local residents in Okinawa have expressed frustration at heavy noise pollution from US military exercises, as well as accidents and criminal offenses by US soldiers.

The Marine Corps issued the following statement:

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan —

At 10:09 am today, a CH-53E window fell onto the sports field of Daini Futenma Elementary School outside of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The aircraft immediately returned to MCAS Futenma and reported the incident.

We take this report extremely seriously and are investigating the cause of this incident in close coordination with local authorities. Updates will be provided as information is made available. For safety purposes and to preserve the site for an investigation, we ask the community remain clear from the object’s landing site. This is a regrettable incident and we apologize for any anxiety it has caused the community.

FORWARD—FAITHFUL—FOCUSED

前衛 忠誠 専心

___
USMC Life contributed to the report

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