Seven Marines missing after planes crash off Japan during mid-air refueling  12/5/2018 10:20:44 PM   Lucas Tomlinson

Search and rescue operations were underway late Wednesday after two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft crashed while refueling in mid-air during a regularly scheduled training exercise off the coast of Japan, the Marines said.

The aircraft -- a KC-130 and an F/A-18 Hornet -- had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan. The accident occurred at around 2 a.m. Thursday, local time (12 p.m. Wednesday ET).

A U.S. official told Fox News that seven Marines were on board the two aircraft. Two aviators were on the F/A-18 Hornet, while five Marines were on the KC-130.

The Marines said in a statement that Japanese search and rescue aircraft responded and were aiding in the rescue effort. The statement added that the incident was under investigation.

This is a developing story; check back for more updates.

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