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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 December 6 - 12  > US military airplane drops cylindrical part on childcare facility near Futenma base
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2017 December 6 - 12 [US FORCES]

US military airplane drops cylindrical part on childcare facility near Futenma base

December 8, 2017
An object, which probably fell from a U.S. military airplane, landed on the roof of a childcare center located in a residential district, about 300 meters from the U.S. Futenma base, in Okinawa’s Ginowan City, Akahata learned on December 7.

Day nursery principal Kamiya Takehiro said that at around 10:20 a.m. on the day, a big thump echoed in a room where eight one-year-old infants were playing. A day nursery staff member went up on the roof and found a transparent cylindrical object with a radius of 7.5 centimeters and a length of 9.5 centimeters which bore the label “Remove Before Flight” in English. This indicated the possibility that the item fell from a U.S. military aircraft. At that time, 11 childcare workers were taking care of 61 children on the playground and in nursery rooms.

Kamiya lodged a strong protest to the Defense Ministry local bureau chief Nakajima Koichiro who visited the facility late in the afternoon. Kamiya said, “Children might have been hit by the falling object. A similar incident will recur unless U.S. military airplanes are grounded. The U.S. military disregards our lives and safety.”

Okinawa Governor Onaga Takshi issued a comment demanding that the Okinawa Defense Bureau and the U.S. forces immediately investigate into the accident.

In the comment, Onaga said that judging from photos which a prefectural government official took at the accident site, it is highly likely that the object is a part from the U.S. military’s CH-53 Sea Stallion transport helicopter. He pointed out that considering that children were playing in the close vicinity of the falling object, they could have been seriously injured. He went on to say, “I already requested the defense bureau and the U.S. military to find out the truth of the matter. I’ll voice a formal complaint if it is determined that the item in question was indeed dropped from a U.S. military airplane.”

In Tokyo, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken heard about the drop accident in the Diet building. Akamine said, “This incident illustrates how dangerous the U.S. Futenma base is. Such a dangerous base must be shut down and removed without delay.”

Past related articles:
> US fighter aircraft drops parts during flight [August 27, 2017]
> US military aircraft loses metal part during flight drill [ July 16, 2017]
> Okinawa JCP protests against tire drop incident by US helicopter [March 10 & 14, 2017]

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