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Danger zone: 64yo civilian injured after fighter jet ejector seat triggers during takeoff

Danger zone: 64yo civilian injured after fighter jet ejector seat triggers during takeoff
A 64-year-old civilian passenger suffered serious back injuries and was hospitalized after being accidentally ejected from a French Air Force Rafale B fighter jet during take-off.

The incident took place at around 2pm local time on Wednesday at the Saint-Dizier air base in northeastern France during a routine training mission.

The pilot managed to safely land the aircraft a short time later, despite suffering minor injuries to his hand from the plane's canopy which broke open during the unexpected ejection. The civilian was hospitalized immediately and is now in a stable condition.

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“His health condition is not a cause for concern,”said Colonel Cyrille Duvivier, spokesman for the French Air Force, after the bizarre incident.

Ejector seat malfunctions are reportedly extremely rare, so the Gendarmerie de l’Air and the French Bureau for State aviation safety (BEA-E) have both launched investigations to determine how exactly the incident occurred.

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