March 11, 2020 / 6:36 AM / a month ago

Pilot killed in Pakistan Air Force F-16 crash in Islamabad

Smoke billows from the scene where a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed in Islamabad, Pakistan March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed on Wednesday in a parade ground in the capital, Islamabad, killing the pilot as he was rehearsing for a Pakistan Day air show, the air force said.

Amateur video footage showed the U.S.-built aircraft appearing to lose control and nose diving before it hit the ground and caught fire.

“Wing Commander Noman Akram embraced martyrdom in the crash,” an air force spokesman told Reuters by telephone.

He was the only pilot in the aircraft, the spokesman said.

The aircraft was taking part in rehearsals for a Pakistan Day air show on March 23.

Rescue teams were working at the site to ascertain if there were any other losses, the air force said.

A district administration official said there was little chance of any casualties on the ground as the plane had crashed in the parade ground, which is largely deserted despite being in the heart of the capital.

The air force said it was investigating the cause of the crash.

Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Writing by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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