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Pilot safe after U.S. military jet crashes in S.Korea

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 7:38 EDT
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American F-16 fighter jet (AFP)
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A US military F-16 jet crashed in southern South Korea Wednesday during a training mission but its pilot ejected to safety, US authorities said.

The plane crashed into a rice paddy around noon (0300 GMT) near a US air base in the western port city of Gunsan, the US military said in a statement.

“The (lone) pilot safely ejected before the plane crashed. Emergency response teams are on scene at this time,” it said.

There were no casualties or serious damage on the ground, a US air force spokesman said, adding details would be released later.

A local fire station officer in Seocheon county near Gunsan said previously the pilot was injured and taken away by ambulance. The officer had identified the aircraft involved as an A-10 tank buster.

The crash came as South Korean and US troops stage an annual joint military exercise, called Foal Eagle, from March 1 to April 30. It was unclear if the F-16 was involved in the drill.

North Korea habitually fiercely denounces annual joint exercises by US and South Korean troops as a rehearsal for invasion. Seoul and Washington say they are merely defensive in nature.

The United States has based troops in the South since the 1950-53 war and the force currently numbers 28,500.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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