- Three US Marines were killed in a military plane crash.
- The plane was participating in a military exercise.
- The cause of the crash is under investigation.
On Monday, as rescue and recovery workers started their efforts to bring the bodies home, President Joe Biden conveyed his sympathies to the families of the three US Marines who died in a military plane crash on an island off the coast of Australia.
On Sunday morning local time, an MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft carrying 23 Marines crashed and caught fire on Melville Island, close off the northern coast of Australia. Military drills were being participated in by the Marines.
“Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families of the Marines who lost their lives in this dead crash,” Biden said in a post on social media platform X. “We are praying for those who also suffered injuries.”
Eight Marines, including one in the intensive care unit, are being treated at the Royal Darwin Hospital. The rest had gone back to the barracks.
“Exercise Predators Run 2023” involved about 2,500 personnel from Australia, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, and East Timor at the time of the accident.
According to Northern Territory Police Commissioner Michael Murphy, those who responded, including members of the Australian military and the US Marines, would now concentrate on recovering the remains of the three Marines at the accident scene.
“The mission has now changed from one of rescue to recovery,” he told a news conference.
“The emergency operations center will now focus on the recovery of the three deceased marines with dignity.”
Murphy said the probe would be “prolonged, enduring, complex” and did not provide an explanation for the collision. At least ten days are anticipated for investigators to remain at the crash site.
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