A Japanese military helicopter crashed in a residential locality setting off a fire on Monday, 5 February. Two crew members of the Apache attack helicopter are feared killed as it came crashing down on a house.

The aircraft, operated by the Ground Self-Defence Force (GSDF), was flying on a maintenance mission when it crashed in Kanzaki city of Saga Prefecture. There is a school near the crash site but none of the students were injured.

Four people were present in the house when the helicopter crashed. All of them were found to be safe. But two crew members were still without vital signs raising fears they could have been killed.

"We are confirming whether there are any deaths and damage," Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters confirming that the aircraft nosedived into the house. Authorities are at the scene investigating the incident.

Onodera added the crew were trying to land the aircraft during the maintenance operations after reporting some glitches. Images broadcast on local media showed thick black smoke over the area and damaged windows and the roof of a house.

Japan Today cited a resident in the area as saying that he heard two or three "loud bangs". The AH-64 attack helicopter was manufactured by Boeing.