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9 Jan, 2019 14:47

Mirage fighter jet crash debris found in eastern France, rescuers searching for 2 pilots - report

Mirage fighter jet crash debris found in eastern France, rescuers searching for 2 pilots - report

A French Air Force Mirage 2000D fighter jet is missing after going off radar on Wednesday morning. Debris has been found and search efforts to find the missing crew are ongoing.

The jet, which had a pilot and a weapons officer on board, went missing at about 11:00am local time while conducting a sortie in the east of the country near the border with Switzerland.

The French Air Force confirmed losing contact with the jet on Wednesday afternoon, adding that rescue crews were dispatched "immediately" to locate the plane.

Two search helicopters were deployed in response, but the area is currently affected by bad weather, with low-hanging clouds obstructing the view, French media reported. More than 100 gendarmes have been deployed to aid in the search, the National Gendarmerie confirmed.

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L'Est Républicain, a regional news website, said local residents reported hearing a large explosion and reported that some debris, including a map and a parachute, have been found on a tree. The report is yet to be confirmed by French officials.

The missing fighter jet belongs to the 3rd Fighter Wing of an air base in Nancy-Ochey. The crew included a man and a woman, according to some media reports.

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