Tokyo – The co-pilot of a Japanese military helicopter was killed and the pilot missing in the crash of their aircraft on Monday in the town of Kanzaki (southwest), making no victims among the inhabitants.

The 26-year-old co-pilot was first found unconscious before being declared dead, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said.

” We are still looking for the 43-year-old pilot ,” he added, denying earlier statements by Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera who said the two crew members of the Apache AH-type fighter helicopter -64 had been found ” in a state of cardiac and respiratory arrest “.

This phrase is regularly used by Japanese officials before a doctor pronounces a death.

Citing local fire officials, the daily Asahi Shimbun reports that an 11-year-old girl who was in an affected house was hospitalized with a knee injury.

The NHK public television channel showed images of a column of smoke rising in the middle of houses in this city on the southern island of Kyushu. Firefighters with pipes ran through the streets while evacuees were seen moving slowly away from the site.

Firefighters in the city said they sent 14 trucks and three ambulances to the scene.

” I heard something that sounded like a roar coming from the ground, ” a woman living near the crash site told NHK. ” I rushed and saw a fire and a black smoke, it is impossible for such a thing to happen in such a place .”

In 2016, a self-defense force aircraft – the name of the Japanese army – with six people on board had disappeared in a mountainous area. Four bodies were later found.