Japanese boy hurt by falling United States helicopter window

Japanese boy hurt by falling United States helicopter window

Fallen window from a USA military helicopter injured a child in a Japanese school, Associated Press reported. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said he wants the USA military to suspend flights of the same type of helicopter until safety is confirmed, Kyodo said.

A window fell out of a United States helicopter and landed in a school sports ground in southern Japan in an incident likely to fuel tensions between military and residents.

The Futenma base is central to an ongoing feud between the central government of Japan and local Okinawan government officials and citizens about its planned relocation to a coastal area within Okinawa. "The aircraft immediately returned to MCAS Futenma and reported the incident".

An investigation of the cause of this incident is underway in close coordination with local authorities, according to a media report, citing Marine officials as saying, in a statement. "This is a regrettable incident and we apologize for any anxiety it has caused the community", a statement said.

The Futenma Second Elementary School is located on the north side of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

Japanese boy hurt by falling United States helicopter window

"It's outrageous this happened again", Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga told reporters angrily.

Brig. Gen. Paul Rock, who oversees Marine Corps installations in the Pacific region, said later Wednesday that all CH-53 helicopters at the Futenma base have been grounded for safety checks when he visited the prefectural government to offer an apology over the incident.

Prefectural authorities said they were notified by the US forces in Okinawa that a window had fallen from a CH-53E transport helicopter.

The incident was likely to inflame further sentiment against the US military bases at Okinawa, which locals have been pushing for some 20 years to have deactivated.

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