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Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 20:17 GMT


Two escape as Tornado crashes

The pilot and co-pilot escaped unhurt

The pilot and co-pilot of an RAF Tornado escaped unharmed after their craft crashed into the North Sea.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said the craft appeared to have come down off the coast of Dunbar at around 1820 GMT.

He added: "The crew ejected and both the pilot and the co-pilot appear to be safe and well.

"The coastguard is currently out searching for the craft."

Crashed into sea

He said he did not know if the two men had swam ashore or had ejected before the plane reached the sea.

A spokesman for the RAF said: "We can confirm a Tornado crashed at around 1820 GMT.

"At the present moment the crew are being taken to a medical facility. We believe they are okay but it is up to medical staff to assess their condition.

"The aircraft crashed to sea but the crew landed on land."

The spokesman said it was too early to comment on the cause of the accident.

Series of incidents

He added: "As far as we are aware there was no indication it was going to happen and we do not know why it happened."

The accident, which happened close to Torness nuclear power station, is the latest in a series of incidents involving RAF planes this year.

Last month, an RAF pilot was killed when his Hawk plane crashed near the west coast main line.

Earlier in October, an RAF pilot was rescued from the Moray Firth after his Jaguar crashed.

On 14 October, two RAF crewmen died when their Tornado bomber crashed in a field near the village of Ingoe, Northumberland, during a weapons training exercise.

And in July, a pilot ejected to safety before his RAF Harrier crashed in a field near Coldstream, Northumberland, during training.

In January, four people were killed when an RAF Tornado jet collided with a Cessna light aircraft near a school in a village outside Worksop in Nottinghamshire.

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