This content is not available in your region

Eight people die in two separate military aircraft crashes in Romania

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews  with AFP, EFE
A MIG 21 Lancer -- similar to the one pictured -- and an IAR 330 Puma helicopter were involved in the crashes.
A MIG 21 Lancer -- similar to the one pictured -- and an IAR 330 Puma helicopter were involved in the crashes.   -   Copyright  Vadim Ghirda/AP

Eight people have been killed in two separate Romanian aircraft crashes on Wednesday, the defence ministry has confirmed.

Seven of the people died when their search and rescue helicopter went down near the Black Sea, the ministry said in a statement. The missing fighter jet pilot they were looking for was also confirmed dead.

"In addition to the five crew members ... two sea rescuers from the Romanian naval forces were on board," ministry spokesman General Constantin Spanu told reporters.

Meanwhile, the fighter jet took off shortly before 20:00 local time from the southeastern base of Mihail Kogalniceanu, but quickly lost contact and disappeared from radar.

Authorities later confirmed that the aircraft had crashed in a separate incident 11 kilometres away from the helicopter wreckage.

"It is premature to discuss the causes of the accident. The weather was unfavourable but we cannot comment at this stage," Spanu said.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has expressed his "profound regret and full compassion" following the deaths.

The Mihail Kogalniceanu base in eastern Romania hosts thousands of deployed NATO troops.