8 U.S. Marines remain in hospital after fatal helicopter crash in N. Australia

Li Weichao
2023-08-28 21:26:13

CANBERRA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Eight of the 20 U.S. Marines who were injured when their helicopter crashed off the coast of Australia remain in hospital, authorities confirmed on Monday.

Three Marines were killed on Sunday morning when the MV-22B Osprey with 23 personnel on board crashed off the north coast of Australia's Northern Territory (NT) during a military training exercise.

Natasha Fyles, the chief minister of the NT, said at a press conference on Monday that eight of the 20 survivors who were rushed to the Royal Darwin Hospital on Sunday are still receiving treatment and one is in intensive care.

"We've seen 12 of those people discharged from Royal Darwin Hospital emergency department and eight remain in hospital," she said.

Speaking at a press conference earlier on Monday, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered his condolences to the victims and praised the response of the NT's emergency services.

Angus Campbell, chief of the Australian Defense Force (ADF), also extended the ADF's condolences in a statement.

NT Police Commissioner Michael Murphy, who appeared alongside Fyles at Monday's press conference, said the ADF and U.S. Marine Corps are assisting police as they try to recover three bodies from the crash site on Melville Island and investigate the circumstances of the crash.

He said it was not yet clear what caused the crash but confirmed the aircraft went up in flames on impact. "The emergency operations center will now focus on the recovery of the three deceased Marines with dignity."

According to Murphy the recovery and investigation will be "prolonged and complex."

"We are planning to be at the crash site for at least 10 days at this stage," he said.

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