Aircraft with U.S. military personnel crashes in Australia, defense ministry says

A V-22 Osprey from Marine Rotational Force Darwin comes into land to conduct a troop insertion as part of Exercise “Talisman Sabre 21” on July 27, 2021 in Townsville, Australia.

Ian Hitchcock | Getty Images News | Getty Images

An aircraft incident involving U.S. military personnel occurred mid-morning on Sunday during an exercise in Australia’s Northern Territory, Australia’s Defence Ministry said.

Sky News Australia reported a v-22 Osprey helicopter with about 20 U.S. Marines on board had crashed off the coast of Darwin and a search had begun.

“Initial reports suggest the incident involves United States defence personnel and that Australian Defence Force members were not involved,” the ministry said in an emailed statement.

It said the incident occurred on Melville Island north of Darwin during Exercise Predator’s Run 2023.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was previously scheduled to hold a press conference at 05:20 GMT, his office said.