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One killed in Eurofighter collision over eastern Germany

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By Reuters
One killed in Eurofighter collision over eastern Germany
Smoke rises on the horizon after two Eurofighter warplanes crashed in northeastern Germany after a mid-air collision, June 24, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Twitter/Ostseewelle HIT-RADIO Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/via REUTERS   -   Copyright  SOCIAL MEDIA(Reuters)

BERLIN (Reuters) – One pilot was killed after two Eurofighter warplanes crashed over northeastern Germany, n-tv television reported, while the pilot of the other jet was reported as having parachuted to safety.

The fighters, belonging to the German armed forces, were unarmed when they collided in midair near the Laage military base in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the German air force said.

“Together with a third Eurofighter they were flying an Air Combat Mission,” they added. “The pilot of the third Eurofighter observed the collision and reported that two parachutes descended to the ground.”

But while one of the pilots was found alive in the crown of a tree shortly after the crash, according to Ostseewelle radio, police told broadcaster n-tv that the other pilot had been killed.

Ostseewelle, which first reported the crash, posted a video sent in by a listener which it said showed two plumes of smoke rising from separate crash sites at some distance from each other.

The radio station described a field of debris around the area of the crash, which it said had ignited a small forest fire.

No details were immediately available on the circumstances of the crash. Some 400 Eurofighters – made by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo – are in service with militaries around the world.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Riham Alkousaa, Writing by Thomas Escritt, Editing by Michelle Martin, William Maclean)