Japanese boy hurt by falling United States helicopter window

Pauline Gross
December 14, 2017

GINOWAN, Okinawa Prefecture-A steel-framed windshield fell from a us military helicopter here December 13 while it was flying over an elementary school.

30 students were taking part in a gym class in the area when the one-meter part, which looked like the U.S. military helicopter's window, fell into the school sport grounds located near the United States military base Futenma in Okinawa prefecture. The school is located next to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

It is the second such incident in a week on the southern island of Okinawa which hosts the largest USA military presence in Japan.

Just last week, a part from another US military helicopter fell from the sky onto a kindergarten roof, but no one was injured.

US military officials said the helicopter returned to the base directly following the incident.

"The fact that it fell right in the middle of the playground is awful and unforgivable", he told reporters during a visit to the school, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

The item measured 1 meter square. The nearest student was about five metres away from the window when it fell, Kyodo reported.

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Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press briefing in Tokyo that the incident "stirs concerns among the people of the island prefecture".

Proximity between the Futenma air base and elementary school.

The U.S. Marine Corps has admitted the object was part of a CH-53 helicopter but denied that it fell off during flight.

Takehiro Kamiya, the nursery school's principal, said Tuesday, "I don't want the prefectural and central governments to accept without question what the USA military says". "These [incidents] happen because there are bases [here] and Okinawan people are exposed to [this] danger".

Protesters planned to rally at Ginowan City Hall Wednesday night to call for the withdrawal of US military bases from Okinawa.

Its planned relocation has been delayed as many residents want it entirely off of Okinawa. "It is unforgivable that it dropped in the middle of the playground", Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga was quoted as saying as he visited the site of the latest US -linked military accident.

Other reports by GizPress

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