A small cylindrical object landed on the roof of a preschool on the Japanese island of Okinawa shortly after a US military helicopter blew up Thursday morning.
About 70 people, including children and staff members, were at school when they heard a loud noise at 10:20 a.m. local time (8:20 p.m. EST), local media reported. Some children played outside, but they did not suffer any injury.
"I'm horrified to think what would have happened if I had fallen a little bit from where he did it," said Take Nago, 78. -New main guardian of the Midorigaoka Nursery, quoted by the Japanese news agency Kyodo News.
According to a government source quoted by the news agency, a US military transport helicopter CH-53. UU I was flying in the area at the time the incident occurred, in the direction of the school.
Local authorities described the clear plastic cylindrical object as 4 inches long and 3 inches wide. The images of the object published by the Japanese media show that it had a red label that read "Delete before flight" and "EE .US. " In English.
The images suggest that the object is likely to be the shipping cover of a Flight Leaf Inspection System, which appears on CH / ME-53E helicopters to provide an in-flight warning of leaf failure , as explained the Navy document.
"We take this report very seriously and are investigating this incident working closely with local authorities," the US Marine Corps, whose airbase is 2.5 miles from the school In Futenma, he told ABC News in a statement: "We care deeply for the safety of our friends and neighbors in the communities where we live and function, and we will provide more information as it becomes available."
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the local defense office also applied to the US Marine Corps. UU Details about the incident.
"We believe that this type of incident arouses concerns among the people in Okinawa," he said, quoted by Kyodo.
Okinawan residents have long complained about the misbehavior of American soldiers on the island, which is home to most of the US military presence in Japan.
The fallen object represents the Last month, a drunken American Marine was arrested for killing a Japanese man in a crash. Since then, the army has banned alcohol consumption inside and outside the base. A former Marine was sentenced to life imprisonment last week for the murder and rape of an Okinawan woman in April 2016, local media reported. 
In 1995, the rape of a Japanese schoolgirl by US military personnel. UU It provoked great demonstrations and the Japanese and American authorities have been planning to move the air base to a less densely populated part of the island. Some politicians, including the governor of Okinawa, Takeshi Onaga, would prefer to see the military base removed from the prefecture.
"A wrong move and someone could have been injured or killed," Onaga said of the incident on Thursday, quoted in Kyodo News. "We believe it is a serious accident."
US UU They plan to transfer 4,000 Marines from bases in Okinawa to the US territory of Guam by 2024. The Pacific island already houses two military bases, and a third in construction.