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Romania: 8 Military Personnel Killed in Aircraft Crashes

Thu 03 Mar 2022 | 06:28 PM
Omnia Ahmed

Eight military personnel were killed in two separate crashes in eastern Romania, officials confirmed on Thursday.

Seven soldiers, who were sent to search for the pilot of a fighter jet, have died after their helicopter and a fighter jet crashed in bad weather near the Black Sea in eastern Romania yesterday.

Officials affirmed that the crashes were not caused by an attack. Nevertheless, Romania's military noted that they will investigate the incidents.

The MiG-21 LanceR fighter jet dropped off the radar in eastern Romania between the villages of Cogealac and Gura Dobrogei on Wednesday, according to the reports.

The pilot of the IAR 330-Puma helicopter sent to find him had reported "unfavorable weather" and had been called back to base before it also crashed, the Defense Ministry revealed, adding that all seven soldiers aboard died.

Later on Wednesday, the 31-year-old fighter jet pilot was also found dead, after the aircraft crash site was discovered near the Black Sea.

On his part, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called the crashes "a tragic night for Romanian aviation" and said he sent his "thoughts to the bereaved families" of the victims.

Accordingly, the Defense Ministery stated that the Military aircraft of the same models will be grounded while the cause of the crash is being investigated.

"It is premature to discuss possible causes. Certainly, there were unfavorable weather conditions, but we can't comment now," ministry spokesman General Constantin Spanu told local television.

Defense Minister Vasile Dincu also said there was "no evidence" that a hostile attack was behind the crashes.