BREAKING: U.S. Marine aircraft crashes, 3 missing

Authorities have reportedly launched a massive search for three U.S. service members after a Marine Corps aircraft crashed Saturday just off the coast of Australia.

The aircraft that crashed was a MV-22 Osprey, where 26 service members were on board.  Defense officials have reported that 23 of the service members were rescued, but three are still missing.

The rescue operation is being conducted by aircraft and small boats from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unite and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, Fox News has reported.

This is a developing story.

The crash comes less than a month after another Marine aircraft crashed in a Mississippi field on July 10, killing all 16 people on board.

In regards to the Marine aircraft crash in Mississippi last month,  an official at Greenwood Airport, told reporters that the aircraft suffered a “structural failure” at 20,000 feet.

The jet fuel on-board the aircraft caused the fire to be so intense that the firefighters had to use unmanned devices to put it out. The scene included a series of high-intensity explosions.

As the remains of the plane burned throughout the afternoon, plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles across the flat delta landscape.

According to news reports, the KC-130, used as an aerial refueler, disappeared from radar and spiraled down dramatically before exploding into a LeFlore County soybean field around 4 p.m. The site of the crash is approximately 85 miles north of Jackson, the Marine Corps said. Debris from the disaster was scattered in a radius of at least 5 miles.

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