Ten people were killed and at least 13 others were injured after a Greek fighter jet, believed to be an F-16, crashed near an airbase in Spain. According to Yahoo! News, the accident occurred during a routine NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) training exercise. Several people in the vicinity posted photos from near the site of the accident which showed a thick plume of smoke emanating from the crash site.
Meanwhile, a spokesman from the Spanish Defense Ministry confirmed the death of 10 individuals. He added that the accident took place a few minutes after the plane took off from an airbase located at Albacete, located 262 kilometers southwest of Madrid, the capital of Spain.
In a separate statement issued by the Spanish Defense Ministry, they claimed that the F-16 crashed into other planes parked at the air base
“The plane, part of the Tactical Leadership Programme of NATO was carrying out a (training) exercise when during the take-off the plane lost power, crashing into the parking area for planes, crashing into various planes that were parked there,” said the defense ministry in a statement.
Meanwhile, rescue operations have already commenced at the site. A fire that started after the plane crashed has been put out by firefighters. Officials have also cordoned off the area and have already begun investigating the circumstances in which the accident happened. It will take some time before the identities of the people killed in the crash can be identified. It is unclear whether the pilot of the crashed plane managed to eject out of the aircraft before it crashed.
According to CNN, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, was briefed about the accident which he described as a tragedy and added that he was deeply saddened by the crash.
In a statement issued to the press he expressed his thoughts on the matter.
“This is a tragedy which affects the whole NATO family. I express my heartfelt condolences to the loved ones and the nations of those who lost their lives, and I wish a speedy recovery to the injured. The plane was taking part in an exercise in the framework of NATO’s Tactical Leadership Programme, which aims to improve multinational cooperation in air operations”
[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]