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OIU Crash Chronology of Events

   The following is a chronology of events of the crash itself and subsequent developments, with particular focus on university-related events. The information presented here is derived from university sources, as well as from articles which have appeared in the local newspapers (the Okinawa Times and the Ryukyu Shimpo). Please us if you feel that any important events have been omitted.

 Friday, August 13, 2004

Helicopter crash at OIU 2:15 p.m.
An out-of-control U.S. Marine CH-53D Sea Stallion heavy assault transport helicopter crashes into the OIU Administration Building and bursts into flames. Three crew members are injured, but everyone on the ground escapes unscathed.

2:20 - 2:25 p.m.
Students and university personnel are evacuated from the Administration Building. The U.S. military cordons off the area surrounding the Administration Building.

3:20 p.m.
explosions after the crashOIU sets up a crisis management headquarters.

4:00 p.m.
The Crisis Management Committee meets for the second time, and decides to tentatively postpone all summer classes and activities. All relevant offices are notified.

4:30 p.m.
University personnel request permission to enter the Administration Building, but the U.S. military denies the request on the grounds that there is a danger of fire or collapse of the building. Newspaper and television crews begin to gather.

5:00 - 5:45 p.m.
Mayor Iha speaks to reporters. Ginowan City Mayor Iha holds a news conference outside the occupied zone at the crash site.

7:00 p.m.
OIU President Toguchi and Ginowan City Mayor Yoichi Iha hold a joint press conference. A decision to resume most campus activities the following day is announced.

 Saturday, August 14, 2004

9:00 a.m.
notice Television crews gather early in the morning. With the Administration Building blockaded by U.S. Marines, offices are indefinitely relocated to other buildings. The university struggles to resume administrative functions. Summer classes, the librarian training course, and other events are held as originally scheduled.

3:15 p.m.
The university sends a list of demands to the Okinawa prefectural police and Ginowan City police departments.

7:00 p.m.
Unable to disseminate information because the helicopter severed the university Internet cable, a decision is made to purchase space in local newspapers to publish a status report for students and their families.

 Sunday, August 15, 2004
  • OIU President Toguchi vehemently denounces the U.S. military helicopter crash.

1:00 p.m.
The university computer network cable, which was severed by the accident, is temporarily restored, making it possible to publish information for students and the general public on the university website.
Meeting convenes with the Japan Self Defense Facilities Administration Agency.

4:10 p.m.
U.S. military continues to forbid entry into the occupied area. Even university personnel are berated if they attempt to cross the yellow tape marking the boundary of the occupation zone.

 Monday, August 16, 2004
  • Training flights from Futenma base resume.
  • Military roadblock of the street in front of the university is lifted.

7:00 a.m.
Preparations begin for removal of the fuselage of the helicopter.

10:45 a.m.
Brig. Gen. Flock comes to apologize Brigadier General James Flock, Assistant Commander of U.S. Marine Corps bases in Japan, visits Okinawa International University to apologize. The university requests that the Okinawa prefectural police be allowed to inspect that crash site and that all flights from Futenma base be terminated.

3:00 p.m.
The U.S. military brings in a large construction crane and begins removal operations.

5:30 p.m.
The U.S. military temporarily halts its removal operations.

 Tuesday, August 17, 2004

8:30 a.m.
The U.S. military resumes fuselage removal operations.

10:00 a.m.
Protest ensues over the removal of the fuselage.

10:00 a.m.
Deliberations held on establishment of a counseling program for students and university personnel.

10:30 a.m.
Letters of protest sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Okinawa General Affairs Office, the Defense Facilities Administration Agency, Okinawa Prefecture, and the U.S. Consulate in Okinawa.
The U.S. military temporarily suspends its removal operation due to an approaching typhoon.

2:00 p.m.
The typhoon veers off course and does not hit Okinawa directly. Washed by the wind and rain, the Administration Building loses some of the black residue which had been left by the fire.
faculty meeting
3:00 p.m.
The College of Global and Regional Culture holds an extraordinary faculty meeting and unanimously approves a statement of protest.


 Wednesday, August 18, 2004
  • Campus counseling office established.

2:00 p.m.
The U.S. military resumes its removal operations.
Deliberations held by the OIU Crisis Management Committee on ways to keep faculty, office staff, students, and family members informed of events as they progress.

10:00 p.m.
The U.S. military temporarily halts its removal operations.

 Thursday, August 19, 2004
  • US military ban on access to the Administration Building is finally lifted (six days after the crash).

10:00 a.m. (approx.)
Topsoil which had been removed by the U.S. military from the crash site is replaced with new soil. Remaining wreckage is removed piece by piece.  Ground is leveled at the crash site where the U.S. military had removed numerous trees without obtaining permission from the university.

 Friday, August 20, 2004
  • Helicopter flights from Futenma base resume.
  • College of Industry and Information Science passes a protest resolution.
  • College of Economics passes a protest resolution.

3:00 p.m.
A protest resolution is unanimously approved by 250 faculty members and university employees at a university-wide meeting.

 Saturday, August 21, 2004
  • Okinawa Pref. Governor InamineOkinawa Prefectural Governor Inamine, just back from a trip to Latin America, visits the university and inspects the crash site with OIU President Tomoaki Toguchi.
 Sunday, August 22, 2004
  • SDP delegationA delegation of parliamentarians from the Japan Social Democratic Party led by party Chairperson Mizuho Fukushima visits OIU and inspects the crash site. Members of the delegation gasp as they watch video of the crash.

2:00 p.m.
Faculty from the College of Global and Regional Culture and student volunteers decide to set up a Japanese/English bilingual web site to provide information about the crash to the public.

 Monday, August 23, 2004
  • No Fly Zone website goes live.



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