7 missing in April crash of 2 MSDF helicopters declared dead

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force has pronounced dead seven personnel listed as missing in the crash of two of its helicopters in April. The accident has now officially claimed the lives of all eight crewmembers on board the two aircraft.

The helicopters collided over the Pacific Ocean off Torishima Island in the Izu Islands on April 20. The aircraft were conducting a drill on anti-submarine warfare using sonar equipment.

One of the eight crewmembers was quickly confirmed dead, while the seven others were listed as missing.

The MSDF said on Tuesday it has determined the missing are dead. It cited the slim possibility of survival almost two months after the crash.

The MSDF plans to promote each of the victims one rank and hold a funeral ceremony for them later this month.

The MSDF will continue searching for the remains of the seven and for aircraft debris. It is also analyzing flight recorders that were recovered to determine the cause of the crash.