Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

South Korea F-5 fighter jet crash kills three pilots

Wreckage of a fighter jet on a mountain in Pyeongchang, South Korea (2 March 2010)
Officials said poor weather could have let to the crash

Three South Korean fighter pilots have died after their jets crashed into a mountain during a training mission, defence officials in Seoul have said.

The F-5 jets were believed to have hit Mount Hwangbyeong, near Gangneung, about 237km (147 miles) east of Seoul, said the Yonhap news agency.

Rescue teams found debris, clothing and body parts on the mountain.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, but officials said poor visibility could have been to blame.

The jets disappeared from radar shortly after taking off from an airbase in Gangneung.

A search and rescue operation was launched but an official later said all three pilots had died.

"There is a high possibility that the aircraft crashed due to bad visibility from the foggy weather. We will further investigate the causes," an Air Force spokesman earlier told Yonhap.

One witness had reported "a thundering noise and acrid smoke near the mountain's summit".

Yoon Heung-joon said he had seen what he believed to be the wreckage of the planes on the mountainside.

Yonhap said, if confirmed, the crash would be the seventh involving South Korea's ageing F5 fleet since 2000.

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Bangkok Post Three pilots killed as S.Korea jets hit mountain - 20 hrs ago
ABC Online S Korea fighter jets crash killing 3 - 21 hrs ago Three pilots die in fighter jet crash - 21 hrs ago Fighter Jets Crash Into Mountain, Killing 3 Airmen - 22 hrs ago Two South Korea Air Force jet fighters missing - 28 hrs ago

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