POLITICS

8 US Marines remain in hospital after fiery aircraft crash killed 3 in Australia

Aug 27, 2023, 10:01 PM

In this photo released by Australian Department of Defense, United States Marine Corps MV-22B Ospre...

In this photo released by Australian Department of Defense, United States Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft are parked at RAAF Base Darwin, Australia, Aug. 11, 2023, during Exercise Alon at the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023. Several U.S. Marines remained in a hospital in the Australian north coast city of Darwin on Monday after they were injured in a fiery crash of a tiltrotor aircraft on an island. (CPL Robert Whitmore/Australian Department of Defense via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(CPL Robert Whitmore/Australian Department of Defense via AP)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Eight U.S. Marines remained in a hospital in the Australian north coast city of Darwin on Monday after they were injured in a fiery crash of a tiltrotor aircraft that killed three of their colleagues on an island.

All 20 survivors were flown from Melville Island 80 kilometers (50 miles) south to Darwin within hours of the Marine V-22 Osprey crashing at 9:30 a.m. Sunday during a multinational training exercise, Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said.

All were taken to the Royal Darwin Hospital, and 12 had been discharged by Monday, she said.

The first five Marines to arrive at the city’s main hospital were critically injured and one underwent emergency surgery.

Fyles said she would not detail the conditions of eight who remained in the hospital out of respect for them and their families.

“It’s … a credit to everyone involved that we were able to get 20 patients from an extremely remote location on an island into our tertiary hospital within a matter of hours,” Fyles told reporters.

The Osprey that crashed was one of two that flew from Darwin to Melville on Sunday as part of Exercise Predators Run, which involves the militaries of the United States, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor.

All 23 Marines aboard the lost aircraft were temporarily based in Darwin as part of the Marine Corps’ annual troop rotation.

Around 150 U.S. Marines are currently based in Darwin and up to 2,500 rotate through the city every year. They are part of a realignment of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific that is broadly meant to face an increasingly assertive China.

The bodies of the dead Marines remained at the crash site, where an exclusion zone would be maintained, Northern Territory Police Commissioner Michael Murphy said.

The cause of the crash had yet to be explained and investigators would remain at the site for at least 10 days, Murphy said.

The Osprey, a hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but during flight can tilt its propellers forward and cruise much faster like an airplane, crashed into tropical forest and burst into flame.

Emergency responders were surprised the death toll was not higher.

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

“Our thoughts are with the three Marines that have died during service for their country, and our thoughts go out to their country, to the United States Marine Corps and all their colleagues and friends,” he added.

Defense Minister Richard Marles was also greatful that the toll was not worse.

“It’s remarkable that in many ways, so many have survived,” Marles told Nine News television.

“This remains a very tragic incident and the loss of those lives are keenly felt,” Marles added.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin paid tribute to dead Marines.

“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,” Austin tweeted.

The U.S. Embassy in Australia issued a statement offering condolences to the families and friends of the dead Marines and thanking Australian responders for their help.

Politics

FILE - Leaders take their seats for a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council during the NATO summit in...

Associated Press

With words, deeds and arms deals, allies make the case for NATO in terms that would appeal to Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — European allies in NATO are stepping up their military spending, just as Donald Trump wanted. They’re pointing to common interests, such as concerns over China. They’re creating American jobs by buying U.S. weapons. In words, deeds and arms deals, leaders of the United States’ partners in NATO are making the case for […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

The UN condemns increasing gang violence and criminal activity in Haiti that is undermining peace

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning “in the strongest terms” the increasing gang violence and criminal activity in Haiti that is undermining peace, stability and security in the country and the region. Friday’s resolution expresses grave concern at illegal arms and ammunition flowing into Haiti and their link […]

7 hours ago

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listens to a speech during the opening of the High-L...

Associated Press

UN chief urges funds for Palestinians, saying Israel is forcing Gazans ‘to move like human pinballs’

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations chief appealed for funding Friday for the beleaguered U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees in Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East, accusing Israel of issuing evacuation orders that force Palestinians “to move like human pinballs across a landscape of destruction and death.” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a donor’s […]

8 hours ago

Jake Schneider talks about the Republican National Convention coming to Milwaukee next to the bronz...

Associated Press

Deeply Democratic Milwaukee wrestles with hosting Trump, Republican National Convention

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee loves its Miller Beer, Brewers baseball and “ Bronze Fonz ” statue. The deepest blue city in swing state Wisconsin, Milwaukee also loves Democrats. So it can be hard for some to swallow that Milwaukee is playing host to former President Donald Trump and the Republican National Convention next week while […]

9 hours ago

President Joe Biden, joined by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaks during an event on ...

Associated Press

Biden’s supporters want to ‘let Joe be Joe’ — but his stumbles are now under a bigger spotlight

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is on a public and private blitz to shake off concerns about his cognitive capacities. But with public doubts about his fitness to serve unabating, Biden’s every move is now under a withering microscope as any potential stumble risks becoming magnified and delivering another blow to his candidacy. To […]

9 hours ago

Actor Alec Baldwin hugs a member of his legal team after the judge threw out the involuntary mansla...

Associated Press

What’s next for Alec Baldwin after manslaughter case dismissal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A New Mexico judge dismissed the involuntary manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in a sudden move Friday. Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer dismissed the case based on the misconduct of police and prosecutors over the withholding of evidence from the defense. She said the […]

12 hours ago

8 US Marines remain in hospital after fiery aircraft crash killed 3 in Australia