A Greek fighter jet crashed into parked aircraft during a NATO training exercise on Monday in southeastern Spain, killing at least 10 people and injuring another 13, Spanish defense authorities said.
The 10 dead were believed to include the two Greek pilots of the F-16 and NATO staff of various nationalities but no details were released by Spanish authorities. Of the 13 injured, seven were said to be in a serious condition.
The exact reasons for the accident remained unclear but reports indicated that the jet lost power abruptly during takeoff into the Los Llanos base where other aircraft participating in the NATO exercise were parked.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he was “deeply saddened by the crash of a Greek fighter jet at the Los Llanos base in Spain,” calling the incident “a tragedy that affects the whole NATO family.”
In Athens, outgoing Defense Minister Nikos Dendias expressed sorrow at the “tragic consequences” of the crash during a training session hosted by “our friend and ally Spain.” “At this time our thoughts are with the families of the Greek officers and with the families of all the victims, irrespective of their ethnic origin,” he said. Newly sworn-in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras telephoned the head of the Hellenic Air Force and asked to be kept up-to-date on developments after the crash, Tsipras’s office said.