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Marine AAV causes political, police investigation on cause

Date Posted: 2005-06-17

A Marine Corps AAV remains underwater near Henoko, with both military and civilian police scrambling for answers.

There were no injuries in last week’s accident, but Ishikawa Police are now wanting answers from U.S. military personnel involved, including the driver. Initial reports are that the accident will fall in a hit-and-run category under the Road Traffic Law.

The amphibious vehicle is nestled near or against a coral reef about 1.5 kilometers off the coast, triggering fears there’s been damage to the coral.

The Defense Facilities Administration Bureau in Naha says the U.S. Marine Corps has not provided any answers or reports. They think the AAV was traveling on the water between Camps Schwab and Hansen when it sank on the edge of the coral reef during low tide. The water is believed to be about ten feet deep at that location.

Angry citizens say they’ve gone underwater and seen the site themselves, and charge “the caterpillar track treads on the AAV have destroyed countless numbers of coral.”

This was the second incident involving an AAV in the area. Several days earlier an AAV struck and damaged a bridge over the Okinawa Expressway as it landed on a Ginoza Village beach. Citizens are questioning the military’s actions, saying the accidents are posing dangers to their communities.

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