US fighter jet crashes near South Korea
An American F-16 fighter jet has crashed in waters near South Korea, the US military has confirmed. The incident marks the third time a US war plane has gone down in the region in less than a year.
A fighter pilot was forced to abandon the jet and ejected from the aircraft early Wednesday morning, with the F-16 falling into waters off the coast of Gunsan, South Korea, near Washington’s Kunsan Air Base, Yonhap reported.
“Information on the cause of the in-flight emergency will not be made available until the conclusion of thorough safety and accident investigations,” said Col. Matthew C. Gaetke, 8th Fighter Wing commander.
“Now we will shift our focus to search and recovery of the aircraft,” the statement added, praising Seoul’s rescue forces for the swift recovery of the American pilot, who has been transported to a medical facility for “assessment.”
The crash follows similar incidents involving the same type of fighter jet in recent months, with another F-16 going down over the Yellow Sea during an exercise in December. That plane was also based at Kusan as part of the US 8th Fighter Wing.
In May, yet another F-16 crashed close to Osan Air Base in the northwest of the country. Officials revealed few details about the incident, but said the pilot was taking part in a routine training mission during the accident and had safely ejected.