A Greek F-16 fighter jet has crashed at the Albacete airbase in central Spain, killing two and injuring 10 people. According to Greek state NERIT TV, the accident occurred short after the fighter jet took off and that the jet suffered a big loss of thrust, that is the propulsive force of its engine. The 2-seat F-16 crashed on several other aircraft parked in the Los Llanos airbase in Albacete, explosion followed.
The accident occurred at 3:40 pm, Athens News agency reported.
UPDATE 1: several Spanish media report that the death toll reached 10 and that the injured were 13. Official confirmation still due.
The Spanish Defense Ministry has confirmed the death toll as 10, the number of injured as 13, 7 of them in critical condition (source also: ProtoThema, TVE see Tweet below)
Defensa confirma 10 muertos en el accidente de un F-16 griego en la base aérea de Los Llanos (Albacete). 13 heridos, 7 graves. @Latarde_24h
— Ana Belén Roy (@anabelenroy_tve) January 26, 2015
UPDDATE3: @AFP reported 8 French, 2 Greeks were among the dead
UPDATE 4 January 27:
Death toll rose to 11 after an injured man died on Tuesday.
Dead are the two Greek pilots of the F-15 and 9 French.
Firefighters and emergency services have responded and are at the scene, the duty officer told the Spain Report. “There are no details at this time on whether or not the parked planes were occupied by other pilots or technicians, or if the pilot of the crashed F16 managed to eject,” the Spain Report noted a little earlier.
Military sources told Spanish daily El País that the accident happened after the plane had failed to gather sufficient power before taking off.
The Spanish defense minister and the Spanish Air Force (JEMA) chief of staff are reportedly heading to Albacete airbase.
“The airbase’s Facebook page says the F16 came down on takeoff.”
Los Llanos airbase that is taking part in NATO’s Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) with the participation of pilots and aircraft from several countries. The training was scheduled January 19 to February 13th 2015.
Advanced pilots are training in the context of TLP program to enhance their skills and overall air force effectiveness.
The nationalities of the victims have not been known so far, neither the fate of the two Greek pilots. Unconfirmed reports claim that 6 out of the 10 injured are at critical condition.
The 2-seat F-16 was from the 341 Squadron of the 111th Combat Wing in Nea Anchialos. Three more Greek F-16 and staff consisting of 41 people were deployed in Los Llanos.
According to KTG’s information, failing to gather sufficient power during the take off can impossibly occur due to human error, like a pilots’ mistake. It’s rather due to bad maintenance, or a bird strike.