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Japanese army copter crashes, killing one person on board

Smoke billows from a house after a Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force's Apache attack helicopter crashed in Kanzaki, Saga prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo on February 5, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

A Japanese army Apache attack helicopter has crashed in western Japan, killing one of two people on board and sparking a fire in a residential area near a school and a nursery, media say.

The crash comes amid heightened scrutiny of military flights following a series of emergency landings and parts falling from aircraft operated by the US Marines on the southern island of Okinawa.

The Ground Self Defense Force helicopter, built by Boeing Co, came down in Saga prefecture during training, Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera said on Monday in comments aired by public broadcaster NHK.

The second person on the helicopter was missing, Onodera told reporters. Live images aired by NHK showed firefighters dousing a house as smoke billowed from its roof and windows.

An elementary schoolchild who lived in the house suffered a minor injury, NHK reported.

The incident highlights the dangers of building military bases close to residential areas and could make the Japanese government more determined to push through its plan to move the US Marines' Futenma airbase to a less populated part of Okinawa.

(Source: Reuters)

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