U.S. military authorities reported that a second American Marine died early today of burns suffered in a fuel-tank fire during a typhoone and said 71 Marines were injured in the blaze.
They had said Saturday that one Marine was killed and 43 injured when a fuel tank spilled a river of flaming gasoline into a barracks area as Typhoon Tip lashed central Japan Friday.
A team of burn experts from Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas arrived in Japan to supervise the treatment and possible evacuation of the injured Marines.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Bob Green also said three Japanese were injured in the fire, and one was still hospitalized. Previous reports had said only one Japanese woman employed at the base had been injured.
Names of the victims have not been released.
American military investigators continued an inquiry into what caused the 5,000-gallon rubber bladder to empty during the storm and send the gasoline cascading into the wooden barracks at Camp Fuji, 90 miles southwest of Tokyo.
Witnesses at the joint U.S.-Japanese military training center at the base of 12,000-foot Mount Fuji said the typhoon caused an earthen retaining wall around the gasoline tank's base to collapse, ripping out those connections and sending the gasoline spilling down toward the barracks.
The typhoon caused a total of 28 deaths throughout Japan, authorities reported, including another Marine who was swept into the ocean when the 75 mph-plus winds and rain struck Okinawa. Sixteen persons were missing and nearly 300 were injured.
Two Japanese helicopters, shuttling through winds up to 80 miles an hour, rescued all 47 Chinese crew members of the 8,367-ton freighter Ying Shan, which was grounded and broken in two by heavy seas off the northern island of Hokkaido.
Tip, downgraded to a tropical storm, moved northeast away from Hokkaido after smashing houses, wrecking bridges and causing hundreds of landslides.
Forty-four seamen were dead or missing. Among the missing were 33 of the 37 crew of a South Korean fishing boat that sank off eastern Hokkaido.