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Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 12:15 UK

RAF pair safe after Afghan crash

Tornado GR4
The crashed aircraft was similar to the one seen here

Two RAF crew members are being treated in an Afghan hospital after their jet crashed in the south of the country.

The crew safely ejected from the Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft, but sustained some injuries, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The MoD has ruled out enemy action as a cause of the crash, which happened during take-off at Kandahar airfield.

On Sunday a Russian-built helicopter crashed at the same site, killing 16 civilians and injuring five others.

'Jet caught fire'

An MoD spokesman said of the latest crash: "The crew ejected safely but they did sustain some injuries, which are currently being assessed in a hospital."

Accident investigators were analysing damage to the aircraft, she added.

Captain Ruben Hoorncelv, a spokesman for the Nato-led force, told the Associated Press news agency the jet caught fire and crashed on the airfield but the cause was unclear.

On Sunday a Mi-8 transport helicopter, owned by the Russian air company Vertical-T, crashed as it also tried to take off. The nationalities of the dead are not yet known.

Kandahar airfield is Nato's largest air base in southern Afghanistan but the BBC's Martin Patience in Kabul says a lot of civilian aircraft fly in and out so there is no surprise this was a civilian crash.



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