July 23, 2008 / 9:42 AM / 11 years ago

U.S. says all six aboard B-52 in Guam crash dead

MANILA (Reuters) - All six crew members aboard a U.S. B-52 bomber that crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Guam earlier this week are dead, the U.S. Air Force said on Wednesday.

The plane crashed on Monday, while on its way to participate in a flyover to mark a Liberation Day parade in Guam, a U.S. territory.

The bomber, which had no weapons on board, crashed about 15 minutes before the parade was due to begin.

The bodies of two of the crew have been recovered and search teams have now shifted their focus from rescue operations to recovery of the other bodies, the Air Force said in a statement seen in Manila.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash. The Air Force said a board of officers was investigating.

Guam, which has been under U.S. control since 1898, marks July 21 as the anniversary of its 1944 liberation from Japanese forces in World War Two.

Reporting by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Alex Richardson

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