A USMC Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey, with 23 people on board, crashed during the Exercise Predator’s Run 2023 at Melville Island, Tiwi Islands, about 60km north of Darwin, Northern Territory.
The US Marine Corps said the Boeing MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft was carrying 23 American personnel when it crashed during a routine training exercise at about 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Three US marines died and five have been transported by CareFlight to the Royal Darwin Hospital in serious condition, one of them critical, and the other marines were treated at the site of the crash.
Recovery efforts were ongoing as an investigation was launched into the cause of the incident.
The Department of Defence said the incident occurred during Exercise Predator’s Run 2023.
“Initial reports suggest the incident involves United States defence personnel and that Australian Defence Force members were not involved,” a Defence spokesperson said.
“At this critical early stage, our focus is on the incident response and ensuring the safety of those involved.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, speaking in Karratha, said the Australian Defence Force was working with its US partners to offer any assistance needed.
“Our focus as a government and defence department is on incident response and support at this difficult time,” he said.