Military jet crashes in central Turkey, pilot dead (+VIDEO)

TEHRAN, Apr. 07 (MNA) – Turkey's Defence Ministry has confirmed that a Northrop F-5 has crashed in Konya province, south-central Turkey and that the plane's pilot was killed.

The ministry indicated the accident happened at 2:15 pm local time, that its cause is unknown, and that an investigation has been initiated, Sputnik reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took to Telegram to issue his condolences over the accident, asking Allah for mercy for the souls of Turkish martyrs. "I extend my condolences to his family, relatives, the Turkish armed forces and the nation," he wrote.

According to local media, the crashed jet belonged to the Air Force's Turkish Stars aerobatic team deployed at Konya's 3rd Main Jet Base. Earlier (since debunked) reports suggested the plane involved may have been an F-16.

Photos from the scene, which have not been authenticated, show smoke rising in an empty field.

Television footage shows security and medical teams taping off an area, with multiple ambulances and military vehicles, at least one fire truck and a helicopter on the scene.

Konya Mayor Uğur İbrahim Altay confirmed reports about the crash, and that search and rescue units were arriving at the scene. "Our prayer is that there is no loss of life," he tweeted before the Defence Ministry's announcement that the pilot had died.

ZZ/SPUTNIK

News Code 171832

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