One pilot dies, one survives after German fighter jets collide
Police secure a street in Nossentiner Huette, eastern Germany on Monday, June 24, 2019 near the place where two German Eurofighter military planes crashed earlier today. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)
Frank Jordans, The Associated Press
Published Monday, June 24, 2019 9:57AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 24, 2019 2:39PM EDT
BERLIN -- A German air force pilot was killed Monday after his fighter jet collided with another during a training mission in northeastern Germany, the country's defence minister said.
The pilot of the other Eurofighter Typhoon jet was able to eject safely and survived.
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said three unarmed fighter jets left their base in Laage, near the Baltic sea port of Rostock, shortly before 2 p.m. (1200 GMT).
"After about 20 minutes, there was an aerial collision between two Eurofighters, with fatal consequences," she said.
The third pilot saw two parachutes descending to the ground, indicating pilot ejection mechanisms were triggered after the crash in Germany's Mecklenburg Western Pomerania state, the defence minister reported.
"One pilot was recovered alive, but the second pilot was dead when he was found," said von der Leyen. "We share in the grief of the relatives."
Eyewitness videos showed the burning planes falling from the sky and later, two plumes of smoke rising from the ground.
Firefighters were deployed to extinguish fires from the wreckage. Police warned the public not to approach potentially dangerous debris at the site.
The Eurofighter Typhoon was jointly developed by Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain. More than 550 of the jets have been delivered since 2003, at a cost of close to $100 million apiece.
Monday's collision was the first fatal crash involving a German Eurofighter, the military said.