Tokyo: One person was feared killed when a Japanese Self-Defence Force (SDF) helicopter crashed near an elementary school in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu Island in southwestern Japan on Monday.
According to local firefighters attending the scene, one person is feared dead.
According to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, the Saga Prefectural Police headquarters received an emergency call that an SDF helicopter had crashed near the Chiyoda Chubu Elementary School in Kanzaki City at around 4:45 pm (local time).
The city office said that a residential building caught fire after the helicopter crashed near the school and Dairyuji kindergarten, according to Xinhua.
An eyewitness told local media that she heard a loud “bang.” However, she stated that no one at the kindergarten school was injured.
The principal at the Chiyoda Chubu Elementary School said that he could see pillars of fire and black smoke in the vicinity, but said none of the students were injured in the accident.
A woman in her 70s told local media that she heard a “terrible noise” and later saw a two-story house on fire.
Another woman said she heard an unusual sound and looked up to see a helicopter rapidly descending with its nose pitched down.
“After it crashed, I could see black smoke rising. I was very scared,” she told the local media.
The Japanese defence ministry confirmed that chopper that went down was an AH-64 (Apache).