Another French serviceman has died of his injuries after a
military plane crashed at an air base in Spain, bringing the death toll from Monday’s accident to 11.
This is a tragedy which affects the whole NATO family
All of the dead were French apart from the two Greek pilots of the fighter jet which is said to have lost power during take-off while on a NATO training exercise.
“It happened during the training of pilots for combined operations like this one,” Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenes told reporters.
“These things are terrible but sometimes happen. We regret this huge tragedy.”
The Greek F-16 crashed at the Albacete base some 250 kilometres southeast of Madrid, hitting planes on the ground and service personnel.
At least 20 people were injured, all French and Italian, some with severe burns.
Investigators must now establish what went so terribly wrong.
“I am deeply saddened,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.
“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.”