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Thursday, 16 November, 2000, 17:29 GMT
Pilots escape training crash
Sea Harrier
Sea Harriers saw action in Sierra Leone and the Kosovo war
Two pilots ejected to safety from a Royal Navy training aircraft shortly before it crashed at a naval base, a Ministry of Defence spokesman has announced.

The accident, which took place at Yeovilton Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) in Somerset at 1540GMT, involved the T8 training variant of the Sea Harrier aircraft.

The men, who have not been named, sustained injuries and one of them is being treated at the nearby Yeovil hospital.

In a statement Lieutenant Commander Mike Caws told BBC News Online the accident happened during a training launch - the simulation of a take-off from a naval vessel's ramp.

"The two aircrew ejected and were both injured. Both are in a stable condition," he said.

"The aircraft caught fire in the airfield, but the airfield emergency services were able to extinguish it.

"The cause of the accident is not yet known and will be the subject of an investigation," he added.

The aircraft, a two-seater from 899 Naval Air Squadron, is thought to have been on fire before it crashed inside the air field perimeter.

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