The United States Marine Corps and Australian authorities have confirmed the death of three U.S. Marines and serious injuries of five others following the crash of a V-22 Osprey aircraft in Australia during regular military drills.

The Melville Island crash, near Darwin off Australia’s Northern Territory coast, occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. local time on  Sunday, as reported by the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin. The critically injured Marines were transported to the Royal Darwin Hospital for medical attention.

While the crash’s cause remains uncertain and under investigation, the Marine Corps has yet to comment on the incident.

The crashed aircraft was part of Exercise Predator’s Run, a multinational military drill involving forces from the United States, Australia, and other nations.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the incident as “tragic,” as per Reuters, while Northern Territory Incident Controller Matthew Hollamby labeled it as “significant,” assuring the deployment of all essential resources.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles confirmed that the crash occurred in a secluded area, sparing civilian injuries. She mentioned that an emergency operation was in progress to assess the crash victims and facilitate their hospital transportation.

“Australia and the U.S. are collaboratively addressing this incident,” Fyles stated.

Michael Murphy, Northern Territory’s police commissioner, noted that Melville Island has a longstanding history of hosting military exercises and that an emergency response was promptly initiated upon receiving the initial crash reports.

The MV-22B Osprey, a tilt-rotor aircraft employed by the U.S. Marine Corps for troop and equipment transportation, has been criticized for its safety record following several fatal crashes.

Last year, an Osprey crash near Glamis, California, close to the Mexican border, resulted in the deaths of five Marines. Additionally, an Osprey crash during NATO exercises in Norway claimed the lives of four American service members three months prior. In 2017, two Marines sustained injuries in a Syria Osprey crash, and another crash in Australia led to three Marine fatalities. One of the most catastrophic Osprey crashes occurred in April 2000, resulting in the deaths of all 19 onboard Marines.

This recent incident follows the crash of an MRH-90 Taipan helicopter off Queensland’s coast in eastern Australia, which claimed the lives of four Australian soldiers during the Talisman Sabre joint military exercise with U.S. forces.