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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 5 - 11  > US military helicopter drops part on schoolyard of junior high school in Okinawa
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2019 June 5 - 11 [US FORCES]

US military helicopter drops part on schoolyard of junior high school in Okinawa

June 6, 2019

A rubber part of a U.S. military helicopter on June 4 fell on a tennis court at a junior high school in Okinawa Prefecture. No one was injured.

The incident occurred at 3:30 p.m. on the day at a public junior high school in Okinawa’s Urasoe City. An object from a U.S. chopper landed just 30 centimeters in front of a student practicing on the tennis court. The object is a black rubber sheet which is 12 centimeters wide by 18 centimeters long and weighs around 20 grams.

On the following day, the U.S. military in Okinawa informed the Okinawa Prefectural government via the Defense Ministry’s local bureau that the object is a part of a CH-53E helicopter stationed at the U.S. Futenma Base located in Urasoe’s neighboring city of Ginowan.

Okinawa Vice Governor Jahana Kiichiro held a press conference on behalf of Governor Tamaki Denny who was on an official trip abroad. Jahana demanded that the U.S. military and the Japanese and U.S. governments investigate into the cause of the incident and release their findings as soon as possible. Until then, he added, CH-53E helicopters and all the other U.S. military aircraft should be grounded.

The vice governor pointed out that the latest accident was a result of insufficient maintenance and management. He said that it could have been a much more serious accident and expressed his indignation. Jahana stressed that the prefectural government will keep demanding a halt to the operation of the Futenma base.

Past related articles:
> A dropped US Osprey part drifts to Okinawa's Ikei-jima beach [February 10, 2018]
> Okinawa elementary school pupils evacuated 671 times out of fear of US military aircraft accident [August 17, 2018]
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