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Fighter jet crashes in southern Sweden

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Fighter jet crashes in southern Sweden
Police and military spokespeople at a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
10:37 CEST+02:00
A fighter jet crashed in southern Sweden on Tuesday morning, said the Armed Forces.

Sweden's Armed Forces said one of its Jas Gripen jets crashed eight kilometres north of Ronneby in the Blekinge region after a bird strike at around 1,000 metres in the air.

"The pilot bailed out and he has apparently waved at the rescue helicopter and he seems to be okay at least. We don't know much more at the moment," spokesperson Johan Lundberg told the TT news agency.

The alarm was raised at 9.41am after a witness saw a low-flying aircraft and then a pillar of smoke.

The pilot was taken to hospital, but was said to be in good condition "under the circumstances".

Authorities said the accident happened in a forest area and there were no other casualties reported. 

Fire and rescue services remained at the scene in the afternoon to try to extinguish a fire caused by the aircraft. They warned people to stay away in order to avoid breathing in toxic fumes.

Sweden reports about 400 incidents where planes collide with birds every year, Charlotte Billgren at the Swedish Transport Agency told the TT news agency.

Saab Defence and Security is a major exporter of military material such as the Gripen fighter jet to the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and Brazil.

In 2017, a Gripen fighter jet crashed in Thailand during an air show. The pilot died.

And in 2015, another jet leased by Hungary skid of the runway at a Czech airbase and was completely damaged.

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