A Greek fighter jet lost power during take-off, crashing and killing at least 10 people at a military airbase in central Spain.
At least 10 people have died after a Greek F-16 fighter jet “lost power” during take-off, crashing into other planes and exploding at Los Llanos airbase in Albacete, the Spanish Defence Ministry said.
One of the pilots performed a wrong manoeuvre during take-off, according to local media. Both pilots were killed.
One French person was among those killed and five others were injured, France’s defence ministry confirmed. In a statement released by the ministry, it said French jets were stationed at the base.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said eight French personnel and two Greeks had been killed. The French air force said it could neither confirm nor deny the information given by Mr Rajoy for the time being.
Conflicting reports suggest that many of the injured are Italians while details of the other fatalities have not been given. Personnel from the US, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the UK are also said to be stationed at the base.
The plane crashed at about 15:30 (14:30 GMT) at the base 260 km (160 miles) south-east of Madrid.
Emergency crews extinguished the fire and were assessing how much damage had been done to other planes involved in the Nato exercise, the ministry added.
Aviation analyst Sean Maffett told press it was difficult to imagine how the accident had occurred because the runway where the aircraft was taking off is about 1,000 ft (305 m) away from where the crash apparently took place.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that he was deeply saddened by the crash.
“This is a tragedy which affects the whole Nato family,” he said. “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.”